Leek salad with sherry dijon vinaigrette

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Leek salad with sherry dijon vinaigrette

At our Friday Fresh Farmers' Market this week, pick up some leeks and baby gem lettuces from Happy Boys Farm of Watsonville. This locally grown, fresh, organic produce makes a wonderful light and sweet salad.

I think asparagus is only 4 weeks away. The ground temperature has to reach 65 degrees in Fresno for it to sprout.


  • 6 medium leeks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon additional
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
  • Baby gem, butter or Bibb lettuces

Cherry tomatoes, halved, would be great for a garnish but I suggest waiting until they are available locally grown. Those shipped here from a long distance just won't taste as good.


  1. Add 1/4 teaspoon to a pot of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Trim the leek leaves, leaving the white and light green parts. Trim off the root end. Cut in half lengthwise and rinse until clean. Sometimes annoying pieces of grit stick in between the layers.
  3. Tie the leeks into two bundles with kitchen string so they won't fall apart and mess up your presentation. I made a substitute for kitchen string by rolling up a piece of aluminum foil into a long string-like piece.
  4. Cook the leek bundles in the boiling water until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 7 to 9 minutes. Drain, cool, and undo the bundles.
  5. Dissolve the 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in the vinegar. Whisk in the Dijon, then the olive oil. Whisk in half the tarragon and parsley.
  6. On salad plates, arrange the leeks on the lettuce leaves.
  7. Dress the salads lightly. Sprinkle with the remaining herbs.
  8. Optional garnish with cherry tomatoes in season.