Top | Margarett Waterbury

Grilled Leeks with Mustard-Anchovy Vinaigrette

(recipe, Margarett Waterbury)

Introduction

Grilled leeks are as simple as they are tasty, the ideal thing to nestle next to steaks on the barbecue. Their many layers means that leeks hold sauces (like this vinaigrette) wonderfully, and while they are one of the mildest of the alliums, they can still go toe to toe with bold flavors like anchovies and garlic.

Ingredients

  1. 4 large leeks (1½ inches in diameter)
  2. 1 large garlic clove
  3. 2 anchovy fillets
  4. Salt
  5. 1 tsp. mustard
  6. ⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  7. Juice of one Meyer lemon
  8. Freshly ground pepper
  9. 2 Tbsp. minced parsley (or another green herb, such as chives or cilantro)

Steps

  1. Slice the leeks lengthwise and rinse to remove any grit. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the halves on a plate, and set aside.
  2. In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic clove, anchovy fillets, and a pinch of salt until they form a smooth paste (large-grained kosher or even rock salt works well here to provide extra grit). Add the mustard and mix well. Slowly add the ⅓ cup olive oil, one small splash at a time, while mixing with the pestle. After adding all of the oil, the mixture should be very shiny and relatively thick — not as stiff as an aïoli, but still thick enough to adhere to the sides of the mortar. Then add the lemon juice, one teaspoon at a time, mixing with the pestle until the whole dressing is thin enough to pour and tastes balanced but still highly seasoned. Add pepper to taste.
  3. Place the leeks on a hot, covered grill, cut side down. Flip once after 5 to 7 minutes (or when the cut side is browned and slightly charred on the edges, but not blackened). Cook another 5 to 7 minutes, then place cut side up on a plate and pour the dressing over. Garnish with the minced herbs.