Leeks need a new PR campaign, and I might be just the person for the job. The sweetest, gentlest allium is best known to American audiences as a soup ingredient—but its quiet character also permits it to play a leading role without being overpowering. Case in point: France’s leeks vinaigrette, which is simply silky leeks overlaid with a veil of mustardy dressing. Mellow yet piquant, leeks vinaigrette can accompany chicken or fish, but the dish also works well as a main course with some additions, accompanied by a hunk of bread and a glass of wine.
It comes together quickly: Trim and wash the leeks, simmer or steam them until they’re softened, and drizzle them with vinaigrette. Eat them warm or let them sit for hours; they’ll only get tastier as the vinaigrette permeates their layers. Here are some lessons I learned from developing my own recipe.