Anise-scented chervil contributes fresh flavor to this dish of smoke-tinged baby leeks. The sweet young onions are accented by slightly tart sherry vinegar, spicy Dijon mustard, and peppery olive oil, a mixture that doubles as both marinade and sauce.
Grilled Baby Leeks with Chervil & Chives
16 baby leeks
2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 Tbs. minced fresh chives
1 Tbs. minced fresh chervil or flat-leaf parsley, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) olive oil
Trim the root ends from the leeks, leaving just enough attached to keep the leeks from falling apart.
In a rectangular glass baking dish, combine the vinegar, mustard, a pinch each of salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of the chives, and the 1 tablespoon minced chervil. Whisk together until well blended. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to blend. Place the leeks in the dish and toss to coat. Cover the dish and marinate the leeks at room temperature for at least 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to overnight.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat grilling over medium-high heat. Oil the grill rack. Remove the leeks from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and reserve the marinade. Arrange the leeks on the rack and grill, turning occasionally, until tender and nicely browned, 5-6 minutes.
Transfer the leeks to a platter and drizzle lightly with some of the remaining marinade. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons chives and with minced chervil. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Find more seasonal, vegetable-focused dishes in our new cookbook Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan.