Enjoy the simplicity of our leeks vinaigrette, a dish that celebrates fresh flavors in every bite. Tender leeks are lightly cooked and dressed in a tangy vinaigrette, creating a delightful balance of sweetness and acidity. Perfect as a refreshing side or a light appetizer, it’s a culinary delight that’s both satisfying and invigorating.

Leeks VInaigrette

Cooks Illustrated
Enjoy the simplicity of Leeks Vinaigrette, where tender leeks are gently poached and dressed in a tangy vinaigrette, creating a refreshing and elegant dish. This classic French recipe highlights the delicate sweetness of leeks, balanced perfectly with the bright acidity of the vinaigrette, making it a perfect addition to any meal.
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 4


  • 3 leeks (1-1.5" diameter, with 8-9" of white and light green parts) white and light green parts only
  • Table salt for simmering leeks
  • 2 tsp + 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley divided
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove minced to paste


  • Trim roots from leeks, leaving base intact so layers stay together. Starting 1 inch above base, halve leeks lengthwise (they'll still be joined at base). Rinse thoroughly between layers to remove any dirt. Tie halves of each leeks together with kitchen twine about 2" from top.
  • Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in Dutch oven. Add leeks and 3 Tbsp salt and return to boil. Adjust heat to maintain simmer. Cover and cook until area just above base can be pierced easily with paring knife, 15-20 minutes.
  • Using tongs, grasp 1 leek close to base and hold vertically over pot to drain briefly. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining leeks. Let sit until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. While leeks cool, make crumbs and vinaigrette.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil in 8" non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add bread crumbs and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Off heat, sprinkle with Parmesan and let sit until crumbs are just warm, about 5 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp parsley and pepper and stir, breaking up any clumps.
  • Whisk vinegar, mustard, 1 Tbsp water, and garlic together in small bowl until combined. Whisking constantly, drizzle in remaining 3 Tbsp oil. Whisk remaining 1 Tbsp parsley.
  • Squeeze leeks over sink to remove excess water. Remove twine and finish cutting leeks in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into thirds (do not remove bases or leeks; they're delicious). Spread half of vinaigrette over bottom of serving platter. Arrange leeks on platter, cut side up, opening layers slightly. Drizzle evenly with remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture and serve.


Note: Dressed leeks can be covered loosely and stored at room temperature for up to 3 hours.
This recipe was published in Cooks Illustrated.
This favorite recipe was contributed by a Backyard Eats client! She encourages home cooks to substitute ingredients as needed based their lifestyle or what's growing fresh in their garden.

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