08 May2015

P1050204 (1)

Trim a handful or two of leeks so that it is only the white parts and the palest of green included. I cut each leek in two lengthwise, trying to keep the base together so that they don’t separate. Wash stalks well to remove any dirt or sand. Actually, this is one situation where our small skinny local leeks are perhaps better than their massive brethren from temperate locales. Boil a pot of water and add a generous sprinkling of salt. Add the leeks and cook until softened, about 10-12 minutes. Don’t overcook them as they might get mushy. Undercooking isn’t a good idea either. Remove from the water and place on a plate, they will continue to cook further for several minutes. I like to dry these on some paper towels to remove excess cooking water.

Make the vinaigrette. I tend to wing it, but you may want to be a bit more precise. This is roughly Buvette’s recipe — Into a bowl, add two medium local pinoy style red shallots, minced. Add some fresh thyme, roughly chopped. Grate 1/2 clove of garlic with a microplane if you have it, otherwise just mince finely with a knife. Add 3-4 tablespoons of good sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar would do in a pinch. Add roughly 1/2 cup of good olive oil along with 1 tablespoon of water and season with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and a touch of sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard then whisk this all together. Dress the leeks well ahead of your meal and place them in the fridge to chill. If you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying this dish before, you are definitely missing something simple but delicious. We have this at least 5-6 times a year, whenever I remember to get lots of leeks when they look particularly perky in the weekend markets…



  1. Zerho says:

    Would grilling the leeks improve this dish or ruin its simplicity Marketman? I imagine eating this in a beach situation.

    May 8, 2015 | 9:20 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    Zerho, there is another spanish dish using grilled leeks, that you then steam in newspaper and eat with a romesco sauce… calçots, I think, I will look for an old post… For this dish blanching the leeks is probably better…

    Link here.

    May 8, 2015 | 9:45 am

  4. corrine says:

    I made grilled leeks before. I think I made 3 dipping sauce and it’s superb! Had it with red wine like the Spaniards do. Will try ur recipe esp that I bought a very good french mustard.

    May 10, 2015 | 9:52 pm

  5. Enrique Tee says:

    Looking good. May I ask what are the reddish/brown specks all over the leek?

    May 12, 2015 | 6:08 pm

  6. Chris Juricich says:

    they appear to be the rough-cut mustard seeds would be my guess.

    May 14, 2015 | 1:39 am

  7. Marketman says:

    Enrique, that’s whole grain mustard. In the dressing, it’s ideal to use both smooth dijon mustard and whole grain mustard as well. Good groceries should carry whole grain mustard, essentially the whole seeds of mustard that are cured/softened in vinegar, etc.

    May 14, 2015 | 6:42 am

  8. Bebs says:

    This looks interesting. I will try it soon and will also try having the leeks raw for my hubby’s raw food diet. Thanks for sharing and great blog by the way!

    May 14, 2015 | 11:24 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Bebs, I am not sure this would work with raw leeks, they are a bit harsh on the palate, and the mustard vinaigrette might only accentuate that harshness…

    May 15, 2015 | 5:57 am

  10. Voltaire Gungab says:

    Calçots are a Catalan specialty, but it’s made with a type of scallion (green onion), although some people may use leeks (not sure). Of course, though part of Spain, Catalans in Catalunya are very independent-minded.

    May 20, 2015 | 8:03 am


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