Leeks Creole

I have never thought of leeks as an accessory ingredient because of this recipe. These leeks, topped with a warm spicy vinaigrette, could be a first course, a side dish, or a salad. But however you eat these leeks, you will always have respect for this fabulous Allium, if you didn’t already. They’re not just meant to be a filler for potato soup.

This recipe is in the Creole and Acadian recipe booklet from the Foods of the World series of Time Life. I actually remember the first time I made these leeks, as part of a full Creole meal.

Creole/Cajun/Acadian is an American regional favorite of mine, because of the spiciness, mostly.

leeks

The recipe is quite simple. It’s just a matter of first cleaning the leeks. Trim them and slice in half lengthwise. Then let running water rinse them off. Alternatively, slice the leeks crosswise and place them in a large bowl of water. The silt will fall to the bottom. Just scoop out the slices and dry on a kitchen towel.

Place the cleaned leeks in a shallow pan, and cover with water. Bring to a soft boil, put a lid on the pan, and let the leeks cook for not more than 10 minutes. Using two spoons, carefully place the cooked leeks onto paper towels and let drain and cool off slightly. Alternatively, they could be steamed if you have a large enough steamer basket.

Meanwhile, prepare the spicy vinaigrette, recipe follows:

Creole Vinaigrette Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Creole mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-8 tablespoons olive oil

The way the recipe has you make it is like making a fairly thin aioli. I opted to just place all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together.

And by the way, I didn’t have tarragon vinegar, so I used a combination of apple cider vinegar and fresh tarragon.

The recipe suggests that you serve the leeks cold. I notated on the recipe page that they’re good cold or hot, but I think the flavors really pop when at least the vinaigrette is warm. Alternatively, if your leeks are still warm, the room temperature vinaigrette will warm up on the leeks. The heat really enhances the spiciness.

Place the drained leeks on a serving plate. Then gently pour on the vinaigrette.

As you can tell, I also sprinkled the leeks with tarragon leaves.

The sweetness of the leeks really pairs beautifully with the spicy, warm vinaigrette.

You just have to try them!

By Published On: September 8th, 201449 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

49 Comments

  1. Vinny Grette September 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM - Reply

    I will try them! The vinaigrette sounds easy (I make mine the way you do) – and I love leeks. They are an effective diuretic, as well as a delicious veggie. Great to eat when you have a few summer pounds to lop off (as I do at the moment :) )

    • chef mimi September 8, 2014 at 10:10 AM - Reply

      I had no idea! Problem is, I’d probably eat too many of them… Portion size? What’s that?!!!!

  2. thesinglegourmetandtraveller September 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM - Reply

    Delicious. I’ve had a similar – less spicy – leek salad like this in France. Great way to serve them.

    • chef mimi September 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM - Reply

      It really is. They’re so sweet and mild!

  3. Jody and Ken September 8, 2014 at 1:09 PM - Reply

    “..for potato soup.” Haha! Excellent dish. I’m pinning this, and despite the handicap of having neither Creole mustard nor tarragon vinaigrette I’m going to forge ahead. Ken

    • chef mimi September 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM - Reply

      Personally, I don’t even love tarragon. It has its place, but I’m not sure why I grow it! Forge on Ken!

  4. StefanGourmet September 8, 2014 at 1:37 PM - Reply

    Very interesting post, Mimi! Such an original flavor combination. Any substitute for the creole mustard? You could also cook the leeks sous-vide :-)

    • chef mimi September 8, 2014 at 2:02 PM - Reply

      A dijon mustard would work the same. Creole mustard is just a bit more mustardy than most. It even smells more potent, but any good mustard would work. Sous vide leeks? Fascinating!

  5. tableofcolors September 8, 2014 at 2:35 PM - Reply

    What a great leek recipe…thanks for sharing!

  6. kathysteger September 8, 2014 at 8:02 PM - Reply

    Never had leeks this way, sounds delicious.

    • chef mimi September 9, 2014 at 11:26 AM - Reply

      It’s much like having asparagus as a salad.

  7. Peri's Spice Ladle September 8, 2014 at 8:52 PM - Reply

    I can almost taste the beautiful vinegar and mustard dressing on crisp leeks. Great salad:)

    • chef mimi September 9, 2014 at 11:26 AM - Reply

      If you like spicy, it’s a great vinaigrette!

  8. richardmcgary September 8, 2014 at 10:19 PM - Reply

    Nice post and lovely photos Mimi. I bet you most cajuns would find it humorous that a creole recipe was found in a book on “American Cooking.” :D

    • chef mimi September 9, 2014 at 10:31 AM - Reply

      Really? Don’t you think that cajun/creole food is classified as a regional American cuisine?

      • richardmcgary September 9, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        Cajuns like to think they live in a country all of their own. ;) Louisiana is truly unique. Louisiana law is unique, the foods are unique, the language is unique, etc. and the cajuns take great pride in their “uniqueness.” So, while a part of Americana, they feel they are unique enough to qualify as their own separate being/entity. :)

      • chef mimi September 9, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        So, like Texans!

      • richardmcgary September 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Yep, except Cajuns don’t threaten to secede. ;)

  9. ladyredspecs September 8, 2014 at 11:30 PM - Reply

    I like the sound of this but I love the look more. Great photos Mimi!

    • chef mimi September 9, 2014 at 10:31 AM - Reply

      Oh gosh, thank you!!! It was challenging!

  10. chefceaser September 9, 2014 at 4:03 AM - Reply

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

  11. bakeawaywithme.com September 9, 2014 at 9:26 AM - Reply

    Thanks for the visit to my blog. It is very nice to meet you! I love leeks…I actually made them once as a side dish for my French Fridays group. Yours look delicious, as does your dressing!

    • chef mimi September 9, 2014 at 10:30 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much! Leeks really are fabulous!!!

  12. Amanda September 9, 2014 at 10:01 AM - Reply

    Wow, Mimi. I love this recipe. I never really got into leeks alone and this recipe makes them a star. I’ll definitely try this. Thank you!

  13. anotherfoodieblogger September 9, 2014 at 10:29 AM - Reply

    Fantastic leek recipe!

  14. bitsandbreadcrumbs September 9, 2014 at 11:17 AM - Reply

    This really looks like a wonderful way to enjoy leeks. Somehow I have been guilty of only using them as a component of soups, gratins and bread puddings. I adore tarragon so I know the vinaigrette would really taste grand. Great idea!

    • chef mimi September 9, 2014 at 11:27 AM - Reply

      Thank you! Yes, they’re really good on their own, like in this salad. Much like asparagus can be a salad!

  15. DellaCucinaPovera September 9, 2014 at 1:08 PM - Reply

    I was totally in the side dish boat… no idea it could be a show stopper. And I love love love that you have a creole cook book :)

  16. lapadia September 9, 2014 at 1:32 PM - Reply

    Nice posting; your vinaigrette is definitely one to try.

  17. Charlotte September 9, 2014 at 4:16 PM - Reply

    Nice post – I love leeks and definitely agree they are worth much more than just being used for potato soup! Never tried in a salad though, so it will be new for me!

    • chef mimi September 9, 2014 at 8:23 PM - Reply

      They’re just so delicious on their own! But I love them in soup, too!

  18. dianeskitchentable September 9, 2014 at 5:33 PM - Reply

    I think that I will give these a try. Can you believe that I’ve never tasted a leek? No, not even in potato soup. I don’t know why but I guess it comes from cooking what is familiar and I can’t recall my mother ever making anything with them. That vinaigrette sounds wonderful.

    • chef mimi September 9, 2014 at 8:22 PM - Reply

      Oh, they’re fabulous. Sweeter than onion, but with a taste all their own. Buy some!!!

  19. A Famished Foodie September 9, 2014 at 6:08 PM - Reply

    The look delish! Leeks are such a great thing to eat, but I rarely see them outside of potato and leek soup.

  20. aodenwalder September 9, 2014 at 11:56 PM - Reply

    I love anything in the allium family. This sounds great!

    • chef mimi September 10, 2014 at 9:42 AM - Reply

      What on earth would we do without them?!!!

  21. cheri September 10, 2014 at 5:41 PM - Reply

    What a wonderful dish, I usually always prepare leeks with potatoes in a soup. Love this!

    • chef mimi September 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM - Reply

      I know! That’s what everyone does!

  22. dishnthekitchen September 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM - Reply

    What a new and interesting way to eat leeks. Lovely photos too :)

  23. sakinah30 October 2, 2014 at 12:00 PM - Reply

    Reblogged this on Cappuccino.

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