Salade de Poireaux, Sauce Moutarde
Leeks are a staple in France. All vegetable gardens have leeks planted and French farmers’ markets offer beautiful, tall, firm leeks throughout the fall and winter. As common and as inexpensive as potatoes, leeks are used throughout the long French winters to make soup (the sentimental equivalent of chicken soup in America) and to complement hearty meat stews. This is a traditional preparation that shows off the subtle complexity of the leek.
Leek Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette & Egg
- 5 leeks
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 hard-boiled egg yolks, coarsely grated
- 2 sprigs parsley or chives, chopped
To prepare the leeks, trim away the rough bottom on the root end and the tough dark green stalks at the top. Starting 11/2 inches from the root end, cut the leek in half lengthwise all the way to the green tips. Turn the leek a quarter of a turn and repeat step one. (The leek will still be intact but the top will be quartered). Briefly soak the leek in a bowl of cold water, swishing it around and rubbing to remove any dirt. Finish by rinsing the leek under cold running water, taking care to flush away the hidden grit between the layers at the root end.
Set up a steamer basket over water in a pot with a tight-fitting lid and set over high heat; bring the water to a boil. Steam the leeks for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender and fully cooked. Drain and set aside to cool.
Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and plenty of black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Place the leeks on a platter or in a large dish and coat thoroughly with the dressing, gently working it in and over the leeks without destroying them and finish by scattering the egg yolks and parsley or chives over the top.
Recipe from French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries, and the Beautiful Food Along the Way by Jean-Pierre Moullé & Denise Lurton Moullé.