I heard of this dish for the first time in a cool Paris bistro restaurant, Le Bouillon Chartier. Vinaigrette leeks are served as a starter to boost your appetite. Look at it. I mean it’s not rocket science. To give you another popular French starter (also on the menu at Le Bouillon Chartier): oeuf dur mayonnaise. Oeuf dur is French for hard-boiled egg. Mayonnaise, you know. So here’s what you get: a hard-boiled egg dressed in mayo. It can also mean deviled eggs. Depends on the chef.
So here you go: leeks in vinaigrette. Great as a fresh starter or a light lunch. You can easily steam the leeks a day in advance and assemble the vinaigrette in just a couple of minutes right before serving. Quick and easy.
- 3 small fresh leeks
- 1 tsp strong mustard
- 2 tbsp good quality olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh dill or chives, chopped finely
- Trim and clean the leeks. Rinse them well under cold running tap water.
- We are going to steam the leeks. I used a pasta pan, placed the leeks on the bottom of the pasta basket and added about and inch (2,5 cm) of water to the pan.
- Bring the water to a good boil over medium-high heat and steam the leeks for about 30 minutes until extremely soft.
- You can also prepare them in a steam basket or steam oven. If you are not in the possibility to steam anything in your kitchen, you can always boil the leeks. That however will reduce the flavor a little though. That’s why I prefer to steam them for this recipe. Remove the leeks and let them chill and cool down at room temperature for a couple of minutes. In the meantime we are going to make a simple vinaigrette. Pour the white wine vinegar in a small cup and add the strong mustard.
- Stir a little. Then add the olive oil little by little.
- Then add the freshly chopped dill or chives. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Stir and check the seasoning. Add extra vinegar, mustard or pepper to taste if necessary. Slice the cooled leeks lengthwise in half and place them on a clean serving dish. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature.