Fast, tasty and healthy, Leeks With Vinaigrette make a great change to a side salad.
You can steam, boil or cook the leeks in a saucepan with a bit of water. Make a classic mustard shallot vinaigrette and voilà – you have a great starter course or side dish.
You can serve this with the leeks warm from being freshly cooked or you can serve it a room temperature.
That actually provides quite a bit of flexibility in serving. It makes for a great make ahead starter. You can plate it and have it waiting at room temperature to be served. This presentation would also make a great picnic or patio dish.
Serve it warm and you have a nice winter side, or any-time-of-the-year-side for that matter.
Health Benefit of Leeks
Leeks are good for you – French women swear by them as a diruetic and they form the backbone of many French women’s diet regimes.
Leeks are high in sulfur compounds, which are responsible for their pungent taste and aroma. The sulfur compounds have health benefits as well as other compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein and vitamin C.
Some of the documented benifits from the regular consumption of leeks:
Leeks are rich in antioxidants;
Leeks have a hypolipidemic effect that helps in protecting against cardiovascular diseases. Leeks also increase the production of nitric oxide which protects the lining of arteries and inhibits constriction of arteries and blood vessels.
Leeks have a compound named “d-limonene” that helps lower the accumulation of cholesterol and triglycerides in the liver. The sulphur compounds also bind to toxins to eliminate them from the systems enhancing overall liver health.
Leeks may also protect the lining of the stomach and help prevent ulcers formation as well as help reduce the size of existing ulcers.
Some studies have shown leeks increase the sensitivity to insulin, showing potential to lower blood glucose levels.
Wine Pairing for Leeks With Vinaigrette
If you are serving this as its own course, treat it like a salad course. A high acid, crisp white such as Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Grigiou would all work well.
On the red spectrum look for a higher acid red such as Pinot Noir, Sangiovese or Barbera.
Leeks With Vinaigrette
- 2 leeks
- 2 strips bacon cooked til crisp and crumbled
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar can substitute white wine vinegar
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Add 2 strips of bacon to a fry pan and cook over medium high heat until crisp. Drain fat from bacon, pat bacon strips on a paper towel. Allow to cool and then crumble.
- Trim root end of leeks, dark green tops and any tough outer leaves. Cut leeks in half vertically. Fan the layers under running water thoroughly to remove all sandy grit. Cut the leeks roughly in half horizontally. You should have 8 pieces about 2-3" long.
- To steam – bring water to a boil and place leeks in a single layer in steam basket. Stem 5-7 minutes until they are tender.To sauté- bring a few inches of water to a boil in a skillet. Place leeks in a single layer in a large skillet. Cover and allow leeks to cook 5-7 minutes until tender.
- Drain leeks and remove to serving plate(s). Top with crumbled bacon.
- Combine shallot, mustard and vinegar in a small dish. Whisk in olive oil. Add salt and pepper and mix well.
- Drizzle dressing over leeks and serve. You can serve leeks warm or at room temperatur.
- Leftover leeks will keep a day or so in the fridge.