Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is “Leeks Vinaigrette with Mimosa” (in French “poireaux vinaigrette mimosa”) – a classic French recipe that consists of a plate of tender leeks generously bathed in a vinaigrette.
Traditionally a first course, this lovely leek recipe with eggs is partly named after the edible yellow mimosa flower, which the color of the sieved egg yolk is said to resemble. This is a simple, colorful and fresh tasting dish that would make a fantastic light lunch accompanied by a slice of homemade bread, as well as an attractive starter for a dinner party or a remarkable dish for the weekend - we enjoyed it as a side dish with roast chicken for a wonderful weekday late lunch.
A member of the onion family, the leek is a versatile spring vegetable that, chopped and combined with carrot, celery and onion, makes a great base for soups or stews. Its mild, sweet flavor also partners well with butter and cream in sauces, soufflés and gratins. Only the white part of leeks is cooked – you should trim away the tough, woody stalk end and try to use the green leaves to wrap the contents of a bouquet garni.
According to Dorie´s recipe, you will need the following ingredients- some young leek, a hard boiled egg, Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, walnut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper. To that I added finely chopped parsley, chervil, and chives. I like these three herbs with “anything mimosa” that I prepare – I make a lot of “asparagus mimosa” and always add them, so I did the same here. Habit and great taste.
To prepare the leeks, you will have to remove any tough outer parts of the leeks then wash them thoroughly in cold water. Then pour water into a pan large enough to hold the leeks, adding salt. Bring to the boil then cook the leeks for about 15 minutes. Check if the leeks are tender by inserting a small, sharp knife through the center then remove from the water and place on a wire rack set over a plate to drain and cool slightly. To make the vinaigrette you separate the cooked yolks from the eggs and push through a sieve into a small bowl. Finely chop the egg whites then add to the yolk along with the herbs.
Using a small whisk, mix the vinegar, mustard and oils, and seasoning with a little salt and fresh ground pepper. Arrange the warm leeks on a nice serving plate, cover them evenly with the eggs and then spoon the vinaigrette over the top. If possible, serve right away while still lukewarm - in our humble opinion that´s when this dish tastes its best..
The secret to this tasty leek dish is to blanch the leeks until they are all tender before you go ahead and then dress them in a tangy vinaigrette that compliments the wonderful sweetness of the young spring leek. We all loved this recipe – really loved it, but then, we love just about any fresh vegetable prepared this way.
To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed today´s recipe, please click here.
As a group we do not publish the recipe but if are lucky enough to own Dorie Greenspan´s book “Around my French Table”, you will find the recipe for ”Leeks Vinaigrette with Mimosa" on page 111.