This is one of those ultra-complicated Classic French recipes.
I kid, leeks vinaigrette are every bit as uncomplicated as they sound. Two ingredients: leeks, vinaigrette. (Please, trim, halve, and wash your leeks very well before cooking them. And I’m saying vinaigrette is one ingredient, because counting the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, etc. as separate ingredients just seems a little nit-picky to me, especially when they are all pantry items. It’s not like any shopping is required.) My point is, if you have leeks in the house, you can make this.
Traditionally the leeks for leeks vinaigrette are boiled, but I’ve had some very bad versions of this dish in mediocre cafés, where the soggy, grayish leeks swim in a pool of industrial vinaigrette. Maybe you have, too. If so, I urge you to give these a second chance. I think we’ve all learned some valuable lessons about the comparative merits of boiling and roasting vegetables. So I roast mine.
Broil, to be more exact. I drizzle them with a little vinaigrette (one made with tarragon vinegar and hazelnut oil is nice) both before and after cooking, and voilà, instant side dish! Don’t tell the French I’m suggesting improvements on their classics, but I bet these would be great on the grill, too, what with summer fast approaching. Just be judicious with the vinaigrette before cooking – you don’t want drips and flare-ups stealing the show. And it doesn’t even have to be leeks! Try this treatment with other seasonally appropriate vegetables – asparagus and green beans are two of my favorite candidates. Of course, now we’re veering even further away from the original, but it just goes to show that a little technique goes a long way.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.