Braised Leeks with Beet Vinaigrette
In this riff on the classic French dish, I add beets to a tangy mustard-based dressing for a heartier, vegetal leeks vinaigrette. Serve as is, or crowned with grilled chicken, pork or crumbled feta cheese.
Leeks Vinaigrette with Beets
- 2 medium beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1 large carrot, diced (1/3 cup)
- 1 celery rib, diced (1/3 cup)
- 1/2 small yellow onion, diced (1/3 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 5 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- 3 tarragon sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- Kosher salt
- 4 pounds small young leeks, trimmed and cleaned (about 8 leeks)
- 2 tablespoons snipped chives
Make the Vinaigrette
In a small saucepan, combine the beets with the water, wine, sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, then cover and simmer over low heat until the beets are just tender, about 40 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the liquid is reduced to a syrup and the beets are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the vinegar with the lemon juice, mustard, tarragon and shallot. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Stir in the cooled beets and their liquid, and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the Leeks
In a large saucepan, combine the water, wine, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, tarragon, bay leaf, peppercorns and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Nestle the leeks in the liquid, then cover and cook over low heat until the leeks are tender, about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the leeks, carrots, celery and onion to a large plate; discard the liquid.
Spoon half of the beet vinaigrette on a platter, top with the leeks, and season with salt and pepper. Top with the reserved vegetables and chives, and serve with the remaining vinaigrette.
MAKE AHEAD The beet vinaigrette can be refrigerated overnight.
Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.