There are two good ways to wash leeks
that you're going to slice or chop. Whichever way you choose, be
sure to remove all the sand and dirt. Both methods call for
cutting the leeks lengthwise because the leaves are so tightly
wrapped together that water can't get between them.
first method is to trim and discard all but one half inch of the
hair like roots. Cut the leek in half lengthwise up to the root.
Attached at the root end, the leek will still be in one piece.
Spread the tightly wrapped leaves and, using a vegetable
brush or your thumbs, gently rub the dirt off the leaves while
holding the leek under a warm-water spray. Warm water dislodges
the dirt better than cold. Now you're ready to cut away the rest
of the root and slice the leek into whatever size pieces you
The second method is to cut away the entire root end
and then cut the leek lengthwise. Holding the two halves
together, slice the leek into pieces. Submerge the cut-up pieces
in warm water. Using your hands, gently rub them to loosen the
dirt that clings to the leaves.
Finally, put the leek pieces
into a strainer and spray them well with warm water and check
carefully to make sure they're clean.
Vegetarian by Karen Lee ISBN 0-446-51792-5