The Ice Water Trick To Remove All Of The Grit From Leeks

No matter if you source your vegetables straight from the farmer's market or you opt to have them handpicked by a grocery store employee, it's always a good idea to wash your produce thoroughly before cooking with it. For most vegetables, a good rinse under your kitchen tap will do, but for leafy greens, which have a ton of little nooks and crannies where dirt and grim can hid, that won't be enough. Leeks, in particular, pose a challenge since their rings of tightly packed leaves make it difficult to clean out all the grit. If you only give your leeks a quick rinse, when you cut into the white stalk, you'll find it full of soil deeply lodged between these rings. Who wants to take a bite of that?

Learning how to effectively wash leeks can be a bit tricky. You don't want to spend too much time peeling away all the layers to get the ingrained filth, but you also don't want to ignore the inner parts of the plant either. Luckily, there's an easy trick that will get all the dirt out of those hard-to-reach places and keep your leek intact for a pretty presentation later on. It involves cutting off the bottoms of the leek and standing them upright in a container filled with ice water. 

Clean many leeks at once with this trick

There are several ways to clean leeks that can easily be achieved in under a minute or two. However, the best way is a little more time-consuming, yet a lot more effective than some of the more rushed approaches.

For this soaking method, completely cut off the end of the leek plants, which should also disconnect the leaves from each other though the leeks should mostly keep their shape. Many people just remove the roots before soaking, but you'll more efficiently clean your produce by removing more of the plant. Once the entirety of the bottoms are removed, and the tips are trimmed off, the leeks can be left to soak vertically in a tub of ice water for around 15 minutes. You will soon begin to see lots of dirt settling to the bottom.

Once time has passed, the leeks can be removed and prepared as normal. While this trick may be slower than others, it is much less labor-intensive than endlessly scrubbing in-between leaves. This hack also allows you to leave your leeks on the side while you prepare the rest of your ingredients, making it a great technique for multitasking. Plus, because you won't have to pull your leek apart leaf-by-leaf, it will get to keep its shape, and when you cut into the stalk, you'll still get those nice round discs of leek, perfect for adorning your next plate. Hopefully, that means your frustrating days of unending veggie scrubbing are behind you. At least when it comes to leeks.