Leeks Vinaigrette

Leeks and poached egg vinaigrette
Leeks and poached egg vinaigrette

Well apart from our National anthems, Bro Gozh ma Zadoù (Old Land of My Fathers) and Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (Land of my Fathers), Breton and Welsh also share a love for the auld leek. My rare Breton name, meaning “The Lanky” appears for the first time in 1641 in Ergué-Armel near Quimper… Some say that we might have come from “The land of song”, like a lot of other aborigines from Ireland and England who made their way across to Brittany for a new life since the 5th century.

New organic leeks
New organic leeks

But I am drifting here, drifting away from my leeks. I got two beautiful ones from my neighbour on Saturday, pungent, full of dirt, real like. I could have done a leek and potato soup, Ireland’s favourite but it was a bit too warm outside. I normally “melt” small slices with butter, called leek fondue, amazing with a bit of fish. But the fishmonger is always closed on a Monday. So I opted for an old French classic, Leek vinaigrette, with a more modern twist and this is how it went.

Cutting the leeks
Cutting the leeks

First get two nice leeks, wash them well and cut them above the darker green, as that part is quite tough… Just like this.

DSC08191

They might be quite dirty inside so here is a tip to clean them, without cutting them entirely which would ruin the presentation of the dish…

Cleaning the leeks
Cleaning the leeks
Insert knife
Insert knife

Insert the knife about here, as shown on the above picture… I am holding the camera with the other hand so lots of fun was being had on Monday afternoon…

All the way
All the way

And like Charles Buckowski says: ” Go all the way”. repeat the operation to make four quarters if you wish…

Cleaning the ends
Cleaning the ends

And the trick is to dip them in cold water green side down, and gently remove the dirt which will fall nicely…

Green side down
Green side down

Ok, enough with that, now let’s get cooking. Bring a pot of water to the boil; remember to salt and then gently put your leeks in…

Salt and simmer
Salt and simmer

Simmer for about 25 minutes to 30 minutes, until they feel soft at the tip of a knife. You have a bit of time now, you can start on the vinaigrette or dressing…

Ingredients
Ingredients

For the dressing, or vinaigrette rather, I use the following:

  • 3 tbsp of good olive oil
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of soya sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few chilli flakes

Mix the mustard and olive oil first until homogenised, then add the rest of the ingredients. Store in the fridge until you are ready to dish up…

Mustard and oil first
Mustard and oil first
Making the vinaigrette
Making the vinaigrette

Ok, the leeks must be cooked, drain them and cool them straight away with cold water and ice. You might want to discar the outside layer of the leek that might have turned a bit brown…

Water and ice
Water and ice

Ok, one last step before dishing up, poaching the egg… Bring unsalted water to just before boiling point, simmering murmur, squeeze some lemon juice in there too, a gentle swirl of the water and delicately put the egg in…

Prepare the egg for poaching
Prepare the egg for poaching

After three minutes of simmering, I think you are pretty much ready; lift the egg into a bowl of cold water and then lay it on a kitchen towel. Place the leeks on the plate, a generous dollop of the thick vinaigrette and lay the egg on top… I used a bit of fresh oregano from the garden for an extra bit of drama, you know, in case you were wondering!

DSC08281
Poireaux Vinaigrette
Tuck in!
Tuck in!

Enjoy, Kenavo!

Franck

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