Spring leek and mussel vinaigrette
Saturday 23 May 2009
Young leeks make a great starter simply boiled and served with a punchy dressing. There are some lovely skinny spring leeks around, or you could use the thicker ones and cook them for longer.
500g or so of young spring leeks, trimmed and washed
700-800g live mussels
Half a glass of white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
1tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
2tsp Dijon mustard
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3tbsp vegetable or corn oil
2tbsp capers, rinsed
A handful of flat-leaved parsley, chopped
Scrub the mussels if necessary and remove the beards. Place them in a large pan with the white wine and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook on a high heat, shaking and turning the mussels with a spoon every so often until they have all opened, then drain in a colander over a bowl to reserve the cooking liquid. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove all of them from the shell.
Simmer the cooking liquid down to about a tablespoonful and strain into a bowl, then add the vinegar and mustard and whisk in the oils, capers and parsley; season. Cook the leeks in boiling salted water for 2-4 minutes, until tender, and drain. Arrange the leeks on individual dishes or 1 large serving dish; scatter the mussels over and spoon on the dressing.
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