Leeks vinaigrette is one of my favourite dishes – cooked leeks (the white part) dressed with a mustardy dressing laced with diced shallots. The secret is to lightly cook the shallots in the liquid you used to cook the leeks. It’s delicious warm, or at room temperature and yet I rarely make it in Toronto. Why? Because I can’t find the leeks. Wait a minute I hear you all screaming, of course you can buy leeks in Toronto. Yes, you can, but they are usually fat and only have a meagre few centimetres of white. With leeks it is all about the amount of white part. Why isn’t there more? This is what leeks should look like –
Just look at these beauties, lots of white , a little pale green, also good to eat, and dark green tops that you can throw into a stock. Surely they can be grown like this in Canada. However, as with white asparagus, no one seems prepared to put in the extra effort of hilling them, and most of us are unaware just how much better they taste when grown this way.
So I wait until I am in Europe to make any dish using leeks, I think a leek and bacon tart is next.