In the event that you know what a leek is, and actually happen to have one, here’s how to clean it.
Step 1: Pull off leaves Pull off the tough outer leaves of the leek.
Step 2: Grasp the knife Grasp the knife in your dominant hand, holding the handle close to the blade with three fingers (middle, ring, and pinkie). Curl your forefinger around one side of the blade while holding your thumb on the opposite side.
Step 3: Hold the leek With your non-knife-wielding hand, hold the leek firmly on the cutting board close to the area you will cut.
Step 4: Cut off top Cut off the top dark green part of the leek and discard. You only use the white and very light green part of the leek.
TIP: For recipes that require whole leeks, cut off ¼' from the root end and slice the leek in half lengthwise.
Step 5: Wash the halves Leeks can be very sandy. Hold the leek halves under running water to remove the dirt. Gently pull apart the layers to remove hidden dirt and sand.
TIP: If you prefer to leave the leeks whole, slice through the leek lengthwise but do not cut all the way through or they will fall apart. Gently open the leek under running water to thoroughly remove all the dirt.
Step 6: Slice rounds For recipes that require rounds of leek, slice ½' from the bottom and discard. Chop the leek in rounds and submerge the pieces in a sink or bowl water. Gently pry the layers to let water get between them, but don’t pull them apart completely.
Step 7: Dry with paper towels Dry the whole, half, or sliced leek round on a paper towel. Start cooking.
FACT: The leek has been the national symbol of Wales since the 6th century, when Welsh warriors wore them on their helmets to identify each other from their enemies.