Poached leeks vinaigrette and pangrattato
- November 2015
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 20 min
A classic French starter recipe to add to your dinner party repertoire, perfect if you’ve got a heavy main course.
- 25.8g (11.2g saturated)
- 10g (2.5g sugars)
- 6 small-medium leeks
- 150g unsalted butter
- 1 litre good quality fresh vegetable stock (see tip)
For the vinaigrette
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 small shallot, very finely chopped
- 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Squeeze lemon juice
For the pangrattato
- Big glug extra-virgin olive oil
- 80g dried breadcrumbs
- Finely grated zest 1 lemon
- Small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
- Halve the leeks lengthways, then slice each length in half across the width. Rinse (see Know-how) and pat dry. Heat the butter in a large frying pan until melted and foaming, then add the leeks. Cook for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden in patches. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cover the surface with a disc of baking paper (known as a cartouche). Poach the leeks for 20-25 minutes until very tender.
- Meanwhile, combine the mustard and vinegar in a bowl or jug, then add the shallot and season well. Whisking continuously, drizzle in the 60ml oil to make a dressing. Add lemon juice to taste. Set aside.
- For the pangrattato, heat a big glug of oil in a small frying pan. Add the breadcrumbs with some seasoning, then cook over a medium heat, stirring, until golden. Toss through the lemon zest and parsley.
- Serve the leeks with a little of the stock, drizzled with the vinaigrette and sprinkled with the pangrattato.
Use vegetable stock if serving vegetarians, but a good fresh fish stock or chicken stock adds a wonderful depth of flavour to this dish.
Make the dressing up to 3 days in advance, then keepin the fridge in a sealed jar. Shake well before serving.
Make the pangrattato without adding the parsley and keep in an airtight container for 1-2 days, or freeze in a sealed food bag for up to 1 month. Defrost, then stir the parsley through just before serving.
You can poach the leeks 12 hours in advance, then cool and chill until needed. Reheat briefly in a pan with a splash of stock and a knob of butter until warmed through.
Leeks can hide the dirt in their layers so once you’ve sliced the leeks, rinse well under cold running water.
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