Leeks Vinaigrette

leeks poached in spring with vinaigrette

Leeks are traditionally harvested in the fall and again in the spring after they’ve overwintered in the garden. Though typically used to add subtle notes of onion to other dishes, leeks are divine on their own. Paired with this simple, classically French dressing, Leeks Vinaigrette is elegant, easy, and makes the perfect side dish for a spring brunch or dinner. Be sure to clean them well, as they hold onto sand and dirt between their layers. Check out our video below to learn how to trim the dark green bits off the ends to get the most “bang” for your leek. (Prop styling by Lisa Lee)

Serves 4-6

  • 4large leeks
  • 1tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 2tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 12teaspoon fine sea salt plus more to taste
  • 3tablespoons canola, hazelnut, or extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Trim strands from the root ends of leeks, leaving the end attached. Diagonally shave the dark green parts from the tops of leek (see video above). Reserve tops for another use (like making stock)! Slice leeks in half lengthwise. Soak leeks cut side down in a roasting pan filled with water for half an hour. If your leeks float, weigh them down with a pot lid.
  • 2
  • Under cool running water, shuffle the layers of leek like a deck of cards to see if any sandy dirt remains between the folds, rinse to remove extra dirt. Fill a large sauté pan halfway with water. Bring to a simmer with the coarse salt. Add the leeks, cut side down, simmer for 10 minutes until the leeks are soft with a slight crunch and still bright green. Set leeks in a colander to drain.
  • 3
  • While leeks are cooking, whisk together the vinegar, dijon, and fine sea salt until well combined. Slowly drizzle in a bit of the oil, whisking continuously and vigorously, until thick and emulsified. Add the remaining oil in tiny drizzles, whisking in after each addition until emulsified. The sauce will be thick, opaque, and uniform.
  • 4
  • Lie the leeks across a platter large enough to hold them all. Spoon sauce over leeks. Sprinkle with ground black pepper. Serve at room temperature or cold.