Leeks in Vinaigrette
Leeks in Vinaigrette
About this Recipe
Of all the alliums, leeks might be best suited to eating straight like a vegetable. This dish makes great use of their wonderful savory flavor and works beautifully as a side dish or even a light lunch with some crusty bread, possibly toasted with cheese on it.
Leeks are a potent source of antioxidants, including kaempferol, which is being studied for possible cancer-fighting properties. The allium family (including leeks, onions, and garlic) has been associated with reduced risk of stroke and heart disease. Allicin, a compound found in all alliums, may promote lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
4 to 6 Servings
Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) red wine or sherry vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (240 ml) olive oil
- 4 (about 1 kg total) leeks
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) Garlic-Mustard Vinaigrette
- 1 Tbsp (3 g) minced chives
- 1/4 cup (30 g) hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Step 1For the vinaigrette: Combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper (everything except the oil) in a bowl, blender, or food processor. Whisk or run the machine while you add the olive oil in a thin stream. The mustard and garlic will act as emulsifiers, helping to create a thick, smooth dressing. Add up to 1 Tbsp (15 ml) water for desired consistency. Keep it in a jar until you need it — just give it a good shake before using. (It will store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
Step 2Trim off the dark green parts of the leaves above where they join the stalk. Cut the top of each stalk in half lengthwise down to where the white begins, open them up a bit, and rinse out any dirt from between the leaves. Cut the root ends off, then cut the white part of each leek into rounds about 1½ in (4 cm) long.
Step 3Warm the oil in a saucepan that’s large enough to hold all the leek pieces standing up like tree trunks. When it starts to shimmer, add the leeks and cook them over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the bottoms are nicely caramelized and golden brown. Flip each piece over and brown them again. When they’re browned, pour in the wine and sprinkle in the salt. Let that cook for a minute to boil off the alcohol, then cover the pan and lower the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 4Remove the leeks to a serving dish, spoon the vinaigrette over them generously, and let them sit for 10 minutes or so to cool down and absorb the dressing. (You can marinate these in the fridge overnight and serve them the next day for an even more pickled flavor.) Garnish with the chives and hazelnuts and serve.
Substitutions: Broccoli, cauliflower, and other firm vegetables take well to this treatment; adjust the cooking time accordingly to get the tenderness you want
Level Up: Make your own wine vinegar and mustard
Zero Waste: Add the leek greens and trimmings to your stock pot
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