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bunch of leeks

Produce Spotlight on Leeks

Leeks, members of the allium family, are related to onions, shallots, chives, and garlic. They grow in stalks and have leafy green tops and white flesh. Leeks are a low-calorie food and an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and manganese.


Shopping for Leeks

Look for firm, straight shanks, green tops, and bright white bulbs. The leaves should not be wilted or yellow, and the bulbs should not be cracked. Larger leeks are not as tender as smaller leeks. Massachusetts-grown leeks are available from August into November. Grocery stores carry fresh leeks through the year.


Common Types

King Richard – early season full-size leek, with medium green leaves and long white shanks.

Rally – summer leek, with blue-green leaves and heavy shanks.

Tadorna – fall leek, with medium-length white shanks and very dark blue-green leaves.

Baby – pencil-thin leek, similar to scallions; tender with mild, sweet flavor.

Ramps – wild spring leeks native to eastern North America.


Storage and Preparation

  • Loosely wrap unwashed and untrimmed leeks in plastic and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
  • To prepare, cut off the darker green tops and peel away any tough leaves. Cut the bulb and leaf portion in half and wash under cool running water.
  • Refrigerate cooked leeks in a covered container for up to two days.
  • To freeze, blanch sliced or chopped leeks in boiling water for 2 minutes, cool in ice water, and drain thoroughly. Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet and then place in labeled containers or freezer bags. Use within 10 months.


Serving Ideas

  • Leeks can be treated like onions: sauté, roast, boil, or braise and add to soups and casseroles.
  • Sauté sliced leeks in a little oil and stock for a tasty side dish.
  • Make a creamy soup with leeks and potatoes or white lentils.

Leeks Math

1 pound leeks =

4 cups chopped =

2 cups cooked


Using Locally Grown Produce

For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website To locate places to buy local produce, visit


Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cup; Calories: 54; Carbohydrates: 13 g; Fiber: 2 g; Fat: 0 g; Saturated fat: 0 g; Sodium: 18 mg