- 12 medium leeks
- salt and pepper
- 2 cup vinaigrette
- 12 hardboiled eggs
- red bell pepper strips for garnish (optional)
- chives, minced
- very good olive oil
1. Remove several layers of tough outer green leaves and cut all the lengths to about 8 inches. Trim the little rootlets from the ends, but do not go crazy here and trim them too high up the leek. We want them to hold together during cooking. Cleaning a leek well is very important. You need to remove the grit and dirt that is always between the layers. It is a much easier when you are chopping or dicing them. But we want them left mostly intact lengthwise. So try this trick. Starting at the root end stick the point of your knife into the white part about one inch up from the very bottom. Then slice the leek upwards lengthwise all the way through the green tops. It will look like a clothes pin. You can then wash between the layers taking care to leave the white root end intact.
2. Fill a large pot with water, or alternatively fit a large pot with a steamer insert, add water. Which ever method you choose boil the water. To get them ready for boiling you should tie all the green leaves together in one bunch, not too tight though. You can now boil or steam the leeks vertically or horizontally depending on the pan you choose. If you boil them, the water in the pan should completely cover the leeks. They may float a bit at the beginning but as they cook they should submerge. Check on them regularly to be sure. If you steam them make sure you have a tight fitting lid. When they are totally tender. Almost to the point of mushy (but not quite) remove them from the water. Add the leeks to a shallow pan laying cut sides up. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Whisk 2 cups of vinaigrette together with 1 cup of water. Pour this mixture over the leeks and marinate the leeks in the refrigerator at least overnight and up to 3 days.
3. When you are ready to serve hard-boil a dozen eggs. Let them cool and peel them. Cut each egg in half lengthwise and separate the yolks from the whites. Dice them separately to keep the final product pretty.
4. Remove the leeks from the marinade. Then plate the leeks in individual servings or on one big platter. Thatâ€™s up to you. Top them first with the egg whites followed by followed by the egg yolks.
5. A garnish of diced chives and/or thin strips of roasted red pepper is a very nice touch. Salt, pepper and a drizzle of really good olive oil and they are ready to serve.