For some odd reason, leeks are one vegetable that has always intimidated me and no, I don't really have a good reason why. But when I made Russian Mushroom and Potato Soup, there it was - thinly sliced leeks. So I decided to conquer my fear of this vegetable and find out what all of the hooey was all about.
My friend Tara will be proud to know that when it came time to prepare said leeks, I turned to her favorite cookbook, "Joy of Cooking," which informed me that leeks are referred to in France as the "poor man's asparagus." Well - that's cool, I really like asparagus, but if this is the poor man's version of it, why do they smell like onions? Oh wait- thank you "Joy" - they are a member of the onion family!
OK - so if you're using leeks - one of the things you need to realize is that they are one dirty, gritty vegetable. You're gonna discard the green schtuff and use the white portion. Just make sure you rinse them thoroughly or you're going to get a bit more roughage than you bargained for. Another note - leeks are for cooking - they are pretty darn strong, you wouldn't want to just throw them in a salad for fun.
Leeks - you are a fear conquered.