Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to: Deal With Leeks

Making bouillabaisse the other day reminded me of my first leek lesson. Leeks look like an oversized scallion, and are generally available year-round. Milder in flavor than onions or garlic, leeks make a great addition to all kinds of dishes. Pick a batch of leeks with healthy-looking green leaves, and a clean white stem.

First, trim off the dark green leafy end and the root end. Then, slice the stem vertically down the middle. If you run your thumb across each half, the layers will flip like pages of a book. This is where dirt will hide, so you'll want to rinse the leek while you flip the layers.

After the dirt has been rinsed away, place the leek halves flat side-down and make thin slices. The result will be little half-rings that look like fingernail clippings, ready to go into your dish.

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