Leeks, which are part of the onion and garlic family, look like scallions on steroids. They have a mild taste and a much bigger price tag than onions. To make their food seem more exotic, some recipe-writers call for leeks when they could just as easily use onions. That’s a waste of money as well as time because this vegetable is much harder to clean. In fact, cleaning leeks can be more of a challenge than cooking them.
Leeks vary greatly in diameter—as little as 3/4-inch to 2 inches--and are often sold in bundles of two or three. Most of the leek is edible, although the dark green part is fibrous and strong tasting. I usually cut much of it off.