Prized by gourmets, leeks are more mellow in flavor than their relatives, onion and garlic. Before they're washed, they're also more gritty because their tightly packed leaves easily collect soil. Follow these directions for removing the grit.
1. Remove any outer leaves that have wilted. Slice the leek lengthwise in half, all the way through the root end.
2. Holding the leek under a faucet with the root end up, rinse the leek under cold running water, lifting and separating the leaves with your fingers to allow the grit to flow down through the top of the leek.
3. Continue rinsing until all grit is removed. Slice off the root end before using.