Leeks in Vinaigrette (Poireaux à la Vinaigrette)

By Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Helene Siegel, Cesare Casella, Jack Bishop, Tom Lacalamita, Heather Dismore, Martin Yan, Dede Wilson, Joan H. Moravek, Kristin Eddy

Leeks are called the poor man’s asparagus in Europe. A member of the allium or onion family, they look like thick scallions but have a sweeter, milder flavor. Because this salad is somewhat more substantial than tossed greens, serve it before a savory tart, such as a quiche, or a simple egg omelet.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Mallivan]

Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Mallivan

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

2 teaspoons salt

3 pounds whole leeks, trimmed and washed well to remove dirt and grit; white and light green parts only

1⁄2 cup vinaigrette

3 hard-boiled eggs

2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

  1. Fill a 6-quart saucepan halfway with water. Bring to a boil and add the salt.

    Tie the leeks into bunches with kitchen string. Place in the pot of boiling water, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

  2. Remove the cooked leeks with tongs and drain well in a colander.

  3. Remove the string and place the leeks on a serving platter.

  4. Remove the yolks from the hard-boiled eggs.

    Slightly mash the yolks with a fork and stir into the vinaigrette. Coarsely chop the egg whites and set aside.

  5. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the leeks and then sprinkle the parsley over them. Top with the chopped egg whites.

Vinaigrette

Depending on whether you like your salad dressing with a pronounced vinegar bite, choose either Version I or II, with Version I being the stronger of the two.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

Version I

12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil

6 tablespoons (1/4 cup) red or white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon minced shallots

Version II

15 tablespoons (2/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil

5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) red or white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon minced shallots

Place all the ingredients in a clean glass jar. Screw the lid on the jar and shake until the ingredients are well combined. Taste and add salt if needed.