leeks vinaigrette with mimosa {ffwd}

Leeks Vinaigrette with Mimosa

Spring is in full force, both outside my window and, courtesy of this week’s French Fridays recipe, in my kitchen. Leeks vinaigrette with mimosa is an easy salad with a perky mustard dressing that says, out with the heavy fare of winter, and in with lighter foods.

The recipe calls for baby leeks, but they were nowhere to be found around here. I used a bunch of the smallest leeks I could find, though they were still pretty large. The leeks are partially split in order to wash out the dirt between the layers, then tied back together (out of kitchen string like I was? Use some white thread instead) before simmering in water until tender. For my medium-sized leeks, this took about half an hour.

Tied Leeks

While the leeks cook, there’s plenty of time to make a hard-boiled egg and the aforementioned perky dressing which includes the fancy touches of sherry vinegar and walnut oil.

We have an ongoing discussion in my house on the best way to make a hard-boiled egg. Does one boil the water before adding the egg or does one start the egg in cold water? There’s also the question of whether to cook the egg in boiling water or to to just let it sit in the boiled water. Opinions in cookbooks and the internet are all over the map. The method I’ve settled on is to start the egg in cold water, bring it to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for a certain amount of time depending on the size of the egg (15 minutes for a large egg) before cooling the egg in an ice bath. What’s your favorite way? I’m curious.

After the leeks are tender and dried off with a kitchen towel, they are sliced into thick (1-inch) slices, doused in the vinaigrette and topped with grated hard-boiled egg, which mimics the fringy fluffy mimosa flower.

Mimosa flower (photo from Wikipedia)

This was a delicious side dish, which I served somewhere between warm and room temperature. I was indifferent to the egg garnish. It was pretty, given that the cooked leeks weren’t the most attractive color, but the taste of the egg didn’t come through to me.

Though enjoying this in the warmer weather, I could imagine serving this when winter is dragging me down to remind me that spring will come some day.

If you’d like to know what my Dorista friends thought of their leeks, you can check their links here. The recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

Since I lost my mother in 2007, Mother’s Day is an odd day for me. Though I have fabulous special “mother figures” to honor in my life (a stepmother, a mother-in-law, and an aunt extraordinaire), I now feel something missing. Being childless, I’m not anyone’s mother either. I’ve taken to thinking of Mother’s Day as a day to celebrate all the women in my life, family or friends, independent of motherhood, because these are relationships that enrich my days. So, from me to you, Happy Mother’s Day to all!

My Mom and Me (at her wedding in 1984)

My Mom and Me (at her wedding in 1984)


Posted on 9 May 2014, in Family, French Fridays with Dorie, Spring and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I absolutely adore the picture of you and your Mom! You both look so beautiful and happy!

    I liked this recipe too, and am with you on all counts. BTW, I use your method for hard boiled eggs as well. They always seem to turn out. Happy that you enjoyed this light flavorful dish.

    Happy Mothers Day to you my friend!

  2. Egg – place them in cold water. Bring to a boil. Steep for 13 minutes. Ice bath. No green rings! (So, yes, I agree with you).

    We really enjoyed this too & Happy Mother’s Day :-)

  3. I thought for sure you would find baby leeks too because we are in the Northeast. I must have lucked out. Glad you enjoyed it and your mom looks like she was quite spirited.

  4. I really enjoyed this recipe although I didn’t expect to! I could not find baby leeks either, but mine were quite good and pretty tender. So enjoyed the vinaigrette and the grated egg!
    Love the photo of you and your mom…very special! Enjoy your weekend, Betsy!

  5. Yes, enjoy all the women in your life. I too have mixed feelings about Mother’s Day since I have lost my mom also. Glad the leeks worked out for you.

  6. Great photo of you and your mom…I know you must think a lot about her on Mother’s Day weekend. I make my eggs pretty much the way you do, except when I forget to turn off the stove after the water starts boiling :/

  7. We Doristas were all over the place with this leek dish. I loved it, everything about it and didn’t even mind the rather gigantic leeks I had to use. As for hard-boiling an egg. I start with cold water. Bring it to a boil. And, turn the burner off. Eventually I remember that I’ve left an egg in a pan filled with water on the stove and take it out of the now-cold water and peel it! It seems to work. The photo of you and your Mom is wonderful. And, like many of us, I know you miss her. What you said about honoring the women in your life is lovely. I think we both acknowledge that our relationship has enriched both of our lives. It’s just so nice to know you and to work with you and trade thoughts and ideas and books with you. So, Happy Mother’s Day to you, my friend.

  8. I really like that picture! It made me smile! Sharing that was a nice way to celebrate your mother even though she is not here. These leeks were a winner with me. I’d certainly make them again any season.

  9. I don’t have children either and my mum is too far away so Mother’s day is going to be very plain for me. I also boil my eggs its the same way.

  10. Love that photo – and sending you hugs today! Mothers’ Day is always a little weird with my mum so far away…

    I loved this dish and also boiled my egg your way. Works every time.

  11. Betsy, what a wonderful photo of you and your mom! Love it.
    And I am glad that you enjoyed this recipe as well, we really liked how tender and sweet the leeks turned ou to be – your dish looks so delicious with all that lovely chopped, hard-boiled egg as a garnish!
    Hope you had a great weekend and a wonderful week!

  12. Betsy,
    A wonderful post, thanks for sharing. I start with the eggs in cold water and boil for 8 mins! The dressing was good!

  13. Helyn Benjamin

    Hi. Having great time. Lots to see and do. Love xxxxxxx

    Sent from my iPad


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