A leek is a member of the lily family. They look like large, overgrown scallions with a fat white tip and wide green leaves. Their flavor is sweeter and stronger than scallions, but milder than common bulb onions.
Trim the root end from the leek. Cut away the dark green top.
Slice the white portion in half lengthwise. Then turn the leek on its side and slice the white portion again in half lengthwise.
Pour some water in a long elognated glass dish to wash thoroughly or rinse under running water to remove grit and sand which accumulates under the outer layers of the leaves.
Leeks can be baked, braised or grilled as a side dish, or used to season stocks, soups or sauces.
Choose leeks that are firm, with stiff roots and stems. Avoid those with dry leaves, soft spots or browing. Leeks are available all year.