Valentine's Day Salad

Posted by Karen Stearne on

LEEK AND ROQUEFORT SALAD with Mimosa Vinaigrette

 

Thinking ahead:  The leeks can be cooked in the morning, then cooled, covered, and refrigerated.  The vinaigrette can be prepared as many as 24 hours in advance and kept in a sealed container.

 

Leeks and Potatoes

  • 12 small creamer potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 ¼ pounds leeks, root ends trimmed   

 

  1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover.  Salt the water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife.  Drain, transfer to a small bowl, and set aside.
  2. Wash the leeks and trim about 2 inches off the green ends, leaving some of the tender green leaf.  In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the leeks for about 10 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife.  Drain and submerge them in a bowl of ice water until completely cool.
  3. Lift the leeks from the water bath, pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel, and, using your hands, squeeze out the excess water.  Beginning at the white ends, cut the leeks into 3-inch lengths.  Slice each length in half lengthwise, place them on a shallow plate and set aside.

 

Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped

   In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, and vinegar.  Slowly add the olive oil, whisking continuously, until emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour off ¼ cup of the vinaigrette and set aside.  Separate the egg yolk from the white.  Press the white through a fine sieve and then press the yolk through the sieve.  Stir the whites and yolks into the remaining ¾ cup of vinaigrette.  Stir in the parsley and capers.

 

Assembly

  • 4 cups loosely packed mesclun salad greens
  • 4 ounces Roquefort cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ½ inch-thick slices bread, cut from a baguette, toasted

    Spoon a few tablespoons of mimosa vinaigrette over the potatoes and season them with salt and pepper.  Spoon a little mimosa vinaigrette over the leeks, rolling them in the dressing until well coated.  Season them with salt and pepper.  Arrange the potatoes and leeks in the centers of 4 salad plates or on a serving platter.  Drizzle with any remaining vinaigrette.

In a bowl, toss the mesclun with the reserved ¼ cup of plain vinaigrette and season it with salt and pepper.  Arrange the lettuce with the leeks and potatoes.  Spread the cheese on the croutons and serve with the salad.

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