Thursday, April 19, 2007

Recipe for Leek Tartare Crostini

A Fantastic Vegetarian Appetizer that Everyone Will Love

picture photograph or animated gif 2007 copyright of sam breach

When I first saw this recipe during the course I am currently taking with Jodi Liano at Tante Marie's Cooking School, I knew it would be an absolute hit in our household. [Read, with the Frenchman.] These crostini harken to poireaux vinaigrette, a French staple. I did intend to dabble with this recipe a little before sharing with my readers, but I can't help making it exactly the way it says in the instructions which Jodi adapted from Happy In the Kitchen, a book I have had for a few months but which I'll admit to being a little intimidated by. There's no need, really, this recipe isn't in the slightest bit complicated and it has inspired me to re-read through Michel Richard's tome looking for similar gems. I had thought about adding capers, topping with egg, etc, etc, but in the end I wanted to get the basic recipe out to share with all of you, so you can all start experimenting with it in your own happy kitchens.

The crostini look so pretty, delicate and fresh, with their little flecks of pinky-purple from the onions or shallots dotting the pale spring green from the leeks. If shallots aren't available, you can successfully substitute baby purple onions instead. You could even make this dish vegan by substituting regular mayonnaise with dairy-free and the most hardened carnivore probably wouldn't even notice.

4 medium leeks, cleaned, halved, cut into 1 " slices
2 tablespoons of minced shallot or small red onion
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoon minced chives
3 drops tabasco or hot sauce
fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 baguette, cut into slices on the diagonal
Olive Oil (for brushing on the crostini)

- Steam leeks for about 8 minutes Until Tender, translucent and bright green.
- Spread the leeks out on a baking sheet to cool and then pop in the fridge 15 minutes to chill.
- Remove leeks from fridge and then mince until they are mushy
- Using cheesecloth or a tea towel wring as much moisture as you can from the leeks. This will take minutes rather than seconds - those leeks are holding a lot of moisture at this stage.
- In a medium/large bowl mix the leek mixture with the shallot or onion and olive oil.
- In another bowl whisk together the vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, sugar, ginger, chives, hot sauce, salt and pepper then stir into the leek mixture.
- Brush the bread slices on either side with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and gently broil until golden on each side.
- Cool and then spread each slice with the leek mixture before serving.

Recipe adapted from Jodi Liano's Adaption of Leek Tartare from Michel Richard's Happy in the Kitchen

Eat. Enjoy. Be Happy

Becks & Posh Timetable Over the Next Few Days Leading Up to St George's Day:
Thursday 19th April 12pm Midnight PST deadline for requesting access to the Fish & Quips Database. (I wil send out the final batch of invites first thing on Friday morning)
Friday 20th April deadline for posting your Fish & Quips entry and editing the database to reflect the permalink URL of your Fish & Quips post.
Saturday 21st April approx 7-8am PST The Fish & Quips database will be published and linked to from this blog. Anyone who wants to write a St George's Day English Food is not a Joke round up using the information on the database is encouraged to do so.
[Note - I will not be available on Friday 20th April or Saturday 21st April to answer any queries or to add you to the database if you are late with your entries.]
Sunday 22nd April - I will be working hard on preparing the round up for Monday - and will try to accomodate any late entries at that time, although the entries on the database will take prescedence if I run out of hours in the day
Sunday 22nd April - I will publish a copy of the menu from Samanda Dinner Party Two that will have taken place on Saturday evening.
Monday 23rd April - St George's Day - I will publish a round up of dozens of English recipes and posts proving that ENGLISH FOOD IS NOT A JOKE!

2006 | What's For Pud?
2005 | News Flash: English Food the best in the world!

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Recipe for Leek Tartare Crostini


  • At 19/4/07 09:00, Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said…

    That sounds really good! I tried to recreate the bucatini with fava beans for dinner last night. It was good, but not quite the same. I did like the fava beans though - I had never cooked with them before. I went to the local organic coop and got carried away -strawberries, asparagus, spring peas, etc. It's so nice to see them in the stores now!

  • At 19/4/07 10:01, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a great recipe! I was thinking about leeks vinaigrette yesterday after reading Brett's ode to bistros, remembering old favorites in Manhattan and how often I ordered them as a starter. Today's recipe will be a must-try this weekend. Merci!

  • At 19/4/07 10:58, Blogger Beccy said…

    Mmmmm but I may leave a few ingredients out!

  • At 19/4/07 12:35, Blogger Catherine said…

    These look and sound delicious, Sam.

  • At 19/4/07 17:24, Blogger Lynda said…

    Oh perfect I have just been looking for something special to serve up to some vegetarian guests soon. And I have been reading 'Tough Cookies" and loving the references to Tante Marie's...can't wait to try them out!

  • At 19/4/07 19:11, Blogger Catherine Nash said…

    A possible candidate for girls night in?

  • At 19/4/07 19:23, Blogger Jacki said…

    Yum!! I know what I'm making this weekend!

  • At 19/4/07 20:34, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have a new found love of leeks. i will try it! Thank you!

  • At 19/4/07 21:08, Blogger Unknown said…

    I found an interesting website about restaurants I thought I could share - if you live in South East part of London you are gonna find this VERY useful. If you live in Manchester you can still find it A BIT useful. Its got over 1000 restaurants and takeaways infos complete with photos and menus and results can be compiled according to distance, price and cuisines... its easy to compare dishes and prices etc.

  • At 20/4/07 09:16, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As we say in french : miam miam ! (yum yum). I love vegetable tartares in general.

  • At 20/4/07 11:31, Blogger Mallika said…

    Sam - I have barely missed the database deadline! Eeeeeeek.

    Any chance of fitting in a straggler or should I just wait for Fish and Quips II?

  • At 20/4/07 13:29, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam - amazing looking/sounding appetizer! I make a homemade herb mayo that I know would complement this crostini beautifully!

  • At 20/4/07 13:53, Blogger A Few Reservations said…

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm...and veg, too!

  • At 20/4/07 15:19, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have been mesmerized and fascinated with leeks, the passion they inspire in food writers. One day I hope to taste them and better yet prepare them myself :)

  • At 20/4/07 23:59, Blogger ChrisB said…

    this looks 'tasty tasty very very tasty' (song)


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