A Cook's Guide to Choosing and Preparing Leeks

Consider the leek:.The lankiest member of the onion family has amild onion flavor that verges towards sweet.Unlike their round onion cousins,leeks' leaves (called "flags") donot wither as the plant matures.Their labor-intensive growingmethod is one reason why leeks areexpensive, compared with onions.Another reason is that demand forthem is lower in the United States.Choose leeks that feel firm.To wash leeks, slit them lengthwise andsoak and slosh in a large bowl of water,using your fingers to separate leek layers.Like onions, leeks add body to dishesthat are built in layers of flavor with otheraromatic vegetables like carrots and celery.To enjoy the leaves of leeks, cookthem gently in good olive oil untilthey have a melting texture