How to Cut a Leek Like a Pro

Hey friends! Are you as obsessed with leeks as I am? These allium cousins of onions and garlic are underrated if you ask me.

The only catch is that leeks can be kind of tricky to prep and cut properly. But have no fear – I’m here to share my tips and tricks for HANDLING LEEKS LIKE A PRO! Let’s learn how to cut a leek!

How to cut a leek?

how to cut a leek
Image by: Janis Pavulans

Cutting a leek is a simple process of just a few steps:

  1. Trim off the root end and any dried or tough outer layers.
  2. Cut off the dark green tops where the leaves start to loosen.
  3. Split the leek in half lengthwise. This allows you to rinse away any dirt that may be trapped between the layers.
  4. Rinse under cold running water, fanning the layers to wash away dirt.
  5. Decide how you want to cut the leek (details below) and chop to the desired size.
  6. Submerge in water and swish around to dislodge any remaining dirt.

How to select the best leeks in-store?

how to select a leek
Image by: Janis Pavulans

There are just a couple of rules to finding a perfect leek:

  • Firm bulbs with no spots or blemishes
  • Bright green tops that are not wilted or dried out
  • Avoid leeks with cracks, mold, or sliminess

The fresher the leek, the better it will taste! Pass on any old-looking leeks.

How to prepare leeks for cutting?

Trim off the root end and peel off any dried or tough outer layers, then cut off the dark green tops where the leaves start to loosen.

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

Cut it in half splitting the leek lengthwise to allow for thorough cleaning

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

Rinsing under running water to remove any dirt trapped between layers

how to cut a leek: Step-by-step

There are lots of tasty ways to cut leeks! Once you’ve cleaned and trimmed your leeks, you can slice them up in different styles depending on how you plan to cook them.

Here are 6 of my favorite leek-cutting techniques:

Julienne

Take one half of the prepped leek

Open leek
Image by: Janis Pavulans

Take the small center pieces out to slice them later

Separatted leek
Image by: Janis Pavulans

With your fingertips, stack the outer leaves to one side

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Hold stacked slices together and cut crosswise into thin matchsticks.

Prepping leek for a julliene cut
Image by: Janis Pavulans

I love slicing this way and using it in super salads, leek soup, and pasta.

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Cubed/Paisano

Take one half of the prepped leek

Open leek
Image by: Janis Pavulans

Take the small center pieces out to slice them later

Separatted leek
Image by: Janis Pavulans

With your fingertips, stack the outer leaves to one side

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Hold stacked slices together and cut crosswise into thick matchsticks.

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Cut the leek perpendicularly (across) to make small cubes

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Perfect for stir-fries salads and soups.

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For a more fancy cut called paisano all you have to do is cut them on an angle

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Perfect for salads soups and showing off to your friends šŸ™‚

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Fine cubes/Minced

Cut your leek into a thin julienne cut with the steps above.

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

Then simply slice across to have a fine dice

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

Perfect for garnish, salad topping, or in sauces.

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

Rounds

Probably the easiest method. Simply slice the leek crosswise into rounds.

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

Great for salads, stews, soups and garnish.

Half moons

Cut it in half splitting the leek lengthwise.

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

Then lay each half flat side down and slice into thin half circles about 1/4 inch thick.

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

The semicircular shape makes them great for scattering over dishes as a garnish.

How to make sure your leeks are clean and without dirt?

Soak briefly in a bowl of water to loosen the dirt

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

Drain in a colander or sieve

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

Then pat dry on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

How to Store Cut Leeks?

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  • Clean leeks and chopped leeks are placed in an airtight container or plastic bag.
  • Make sure some moisture is still clinging to the leeks, then refrigerate for 3-5 days.
  • You can also freeze diced leeks for up to 6 months.

What are the health benefits of the onion family veg?

Leeks are closely related to onions and garlic and grow as edible stalks with a bulb at the base. The green tops and white bulbs are both edible and delicious! Leeks are packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and iron. They also contain prebiotics that support gut health.

Leeks have a more delicate, mild onion flavor, sweeter than onions which makes them perfect for flavor soups, stews, quiches, savory tarts, and more delicious recipes. Learning how to cut a leek makes it easier to unlock all of its culinary potential in your kitchen. Let’s dive in.

Cooking with Leeks

how to cut a leek
Image by: Janis Pavulans

Leeks shine in so many recipes beyond just leek soup and have a great flavor too. Saute them in olive oil, add to pasta dishes, roast them, and braise in chicken broth…the possibilities are endless! Some of my favorite ways to use leeks include:

  • Leek and potato soup – a cozy classic!
  • Quiche with leeks and cheese- perfect for brunch.

FAQ

What part of a leek do you eat?

The entire white bulb and light green parts are edible – you just trim off the very dark green tops and root ends.

What part of the leek do you cut off?

The entire white bulb and light green parts are edible – you just trim off the very dark green top and root ends.

Do you eat the dark green part of a leek?

No, the very dark green tops are too tough to eat. Cut them off before preparing the leek.

Do you peel the outer layer of a leek?

Yes, peel off any dried or bruised outer layers for the best texture and flavor.

Conclusion

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Image by: Janis Pavulans

There you have it friends, my easy-to-follow guide on how to cut a leek like a pro! I hope all my tips and tricks for prepping, cleaning, and slicing leeks were helpful. I’ve shared my tips and tricks on how to cook leeks and enjoy them daily.

Learning proper leek-cutting techniques does take your KNIFE SKILLS up a notch. Leeks have such a lovely, mild, and sweet taste that flavors soups, stews, quiches, and more. I’m getting hungry just thinking about all the dishes that are made better with the sharp, aromatic flavor of leeks!

Now whenever you spot those underrated leeks at the farmer’s market or grocery store, you’ll know exactly what to do. Just remember this simple motto: trim, split, rinse, slice and clean. With those few easy steps, you’ll be handling leeks like a boss in no time.

Start cooking my friend, and have a great week! Remember, one bite at a time! See you soon!

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