Leeks are a bit of an unsung hero in the kitchen. They improve, deepen and sweeten, anything they touch. They are beautiful and robust and keep very well. They can be the star of the show–savory leek tart, potato leek soup, leeks vinaigrette–or a supporting figure in many a soup or sauce, braised meat dish or frittata or hash.
They are in the same family as onions and garlic but are sweeter and milder. Their green ends are commonly used in vegetable, meat or fish stocks but they are also good in most anything you’re using the rest of the leeks for so there’s no need to discard anything but the very ratty and fibrous parts at the very top.
They are also known for harboring sandy dirt between their many layers so take extra care washing them. I often make slits part way down the sides and then run water down through the layers.