Enjoy this simple salad with its herb and mustard dressing as a light first course or as an accompaniment to cold meat.
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8 slim young leeks
Salt and black pepper
For the marinade
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
To garnish: 4 sprigs of fresh tarragon
To serve: wholemeal bread slices, optional
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Method Prep:50min › Cook:10min › Ready in:1hr
Bring a wide pan of salted water to the boil. Cut the leeks lengthways or, for a dinner party presentation, cut a cross from the top of each leek through the leaves to halfway down the white part of the stem. Rinse the cut leeks in lots of cold water to remove any grit.
Drop half the leeks into the boiling water and boil them for 4-5 minutes until they are tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and cool them under cold water. Drain and pat them dry then arrange them in a shallow dish. Repeat with the remaining leeks.
Meanwhile, to make the marinade, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard and herbs and season to taste. Spoon the mixture over the leeks then use your hands to turn them so that they are well coated. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Divide the leeks between four plates, fan out the leaves if cut crossways, and garnish with tarragon.
Variation: if you only have large leeks, cut them into chunks.
Tip: you can make this a day ahead and chill it. Return it to room temperature before serving.