AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Braised Leeks with Mustard Vinaigrette DATE: 12/09/2009 12:49:00 AM ----- BODY:

Just in the nick of time, I harvested the lettuces and leeks. Hours later, the first real snow of the season fell. Though it didn’t amount to more than an inch, it was enough to bury the leeks and lettuces.

Branching out of my usual side dish of leeks softened in butter, I decided to braise them in chicken stock and white wine. I continued in the French theme by dressing them with a mustard vinaigrette. And of course, bowing to the bacon gods, I sprinkled a few bacon bits on top.

A simple, yet elegant first course.

Because leeks trap lots of dirt inside its layers, it's important to cut them open to wash.  In order to maintain the integrity of the shape, though, leave the root attached to that it will hold together the layers.

Braised Leeks
1 tbs. butter
4 leeks, cut in half and washed.
1 sprig thyme
1/4 cup white whine
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 slices bacon, diced
1 cup arugula
mustard vinaigrette
salt and black pepper

1.  Melt butter in a skillet, add the leeks in a single layer, cut side down.  Brown a little before adding a sprig of thyme and the wine. Let the wine reduce and then add the stock, salt and pepper to taste.
2.  Put leeks in a 350F oven for 20 minute to braise, or until softened.  Set aside.
3.  Put the diced bacon in a pan in the oven to render the fat and get crispy. Drain the bacon on a paper towel.
4. To serve, dress the arugula in mustard vinaigrette and put on plate.  Lay the leeks on the plate and sprinkle bacon bits on top.

Mustard Vinaigrette
1 tsp. whole grain mustard
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
 salt and pepper to taste

Whisk everything together.


----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:12/09/2009 08:18:00 AM The next time I get some leeks I will have to try this. I have been too traditional with leeks, sticking to potato leek soup too often. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Melissa DATE:12/09/2009 11:54:00 AM You just had to know this was going to remind me of my old post about the mustard chicken thighs with braised leeks. The leeks were so, so good. I love this type of preparation for them, and will be sure to make it as a side again soon. Delicious post, truly, and thanks for the reminder. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:12/09/2009 05:10:00 PM I love leeks with mustard, the balance of sweet and sharp flavors. I'd have to skip the bacon, though, and I'm sure that would make a difference in this dish. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Sarah @ Semi-Sweet DATE:12/09/2009 06:01:00 PM I have a few leeks from my recent CSA share and this looks like a fabulous way to prep them . . . I love them simply with butter, but I am truly a lover of both bacon and mustard. Thanks! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger adele DATE:12/10/2009 06:13:00 PM Braised leeks, mustard, bacon... what's not to love? :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Lori Lynn DATE:12/11/2009 06:42:00 PM I love this as an elegant first course, we are planning a holiday party - just might be one of the dishes.
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