Leeks—porri in Italian—are coming to market now. Their sweet flavor, tender texture, and lively green color practically sing spring. But, boy, are they dirty!
If you rinse a leek as you would a scallion, you’ll have a finished dish seasoned with grit.
Leeks contain dirt inside their layers, not only on the outside skin, according to Vegetable a Month.com. “Leeks grow layer upon layer, so any dirt surrounding a layer, gets trapped inside as the leek grows outward. It doesn’t help when wind blows or rain splashes more dirt inside the layers.”
It’s not hard to clean leeks thoroughly so here’s the way to do it.
Now that you have all these spanking clean leeks, let’s cook a spring dish with them.
Braised Leek and Asparagus
Serves 4 to 6
1 leek, trimmed and washed
12 ounces asparagus, sliced into 2-inch-long pieces
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 lemon wedges
Cut the leek into quarters lengthwise. Cut the quarters into 1/4-inch thick slices.
In a medium skillet, combine the leek, asparagus, water, oil, and salt. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
Remove the lid and cook over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, if needed, to cook off any remaining liquid. Season with pepper. Serve with the lemon wedges.