This is truly a light, spring appetizer. Poached Leeks are classically French but also easy to make. The flavor comes from a simple and delicious vinaigrette, which is also used as the marinade.  You only need to marinate  the leeks for a few hours before serving, but they taste even better if you leave them in your refrigerator overnight.

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  • Course Appetizer
  • Cuisine French
  • Keyword Casual Dinner Party, Delicious, Do-Ahead, For Foodies, Special Dinner, Spring
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
2 people 10 minutes 15 minutes
Passive Time Total Time
3hours 25 minutes
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
2 people 10 minutes 15 minutes
Passive Time Total Time
3hours 25 minutes
Degree of Difficulty
  • 2 whole leeks
  • kosher salt for cooking water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbspn red wine vinegar
  • 1 tspn Dijon mustard
  • 1 tspn grainy mustard
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 1 whole shallot finely chopped
  • 2 whole hard-boiled eggs chopped
  • 1 whole kosher dill finely diced
  • Slices of green parts of leeks
Servings: people
  1. Gather all ingredients before starting recipe.
  1. Prepare leeks by cutting off all dark green stalk leaving only light green and white.
  2. Trim the root ends of the leeks, but leave the leeks attached to the end. Cut the leeks in half. Immerse leeks in cold water to remove the sand in between the leaves. Swish around and gently separate the leaves. Cut a few thin slices of the green portion of the leeks to use as garnish.
  3. Tie leeks with kitchen twine to keep the leaves together and to retain the shape of the leeks if they are large.
  4. Bring a pot of water large enough to hold the leeks to a rapid boil. Generously season the water and immerse the tied leeks, plus leek slices. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Remove leeks to a paper towel lined cookie sheet, cut the twine and turn the leeks cut side down to drain the water.
  1. While the leeks are cooling, add the vinaigrette ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well to combine.
  2. Add a generous tablespoon of the vinaigrette to a casserole dish and spread the vinaigrette to cover the bottom.
  3. Remove the outside layer of each leak, then place the leek halves on the vinaigrette, cut side down. Alternate root end to cut end.
  4. Drizzle the remainder of the vinaigrette over the leeks and refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight.
  1. Bring leeks to room temperature.
  2. Place leeks on a serving plates, surround the leak, cut side down, with a few slices of the leeks, then sprinkle with chopped eggs and chopped dill pickle. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Recipe Notes

I adapted this recipe from a recipe by Geoffrey Zakarian. I changed a few things from his version, but my twist is the addition of the finely chopped dill pickle. I just felt that a little texture from the pickle made all the difference to this otherwise delicate dish.

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