This classic French bistro dish is a really delicious way to get your vitamins when raw salads are forbidden during chemo. Look for small, tender leeks. If you can only find giants, don’t worry.... Simply cut them lengthwise into quarters instead of halves. No matter which you use to make this easy dish, the sharpness of the mustardy vinaigrette will bring out the leeks’ gentle sweetness.
Cut each of the leeks lengthwise in half, then, if they are long, across once. Soak in cold water for 15 minutes to remove dirt.
Put the leeks, cut side, in a wide skillet with a lid. Add water to almost cover, sprinkle with salt and bring to a low boil over medium heat.
Cover, turn the flame to low and simmer until the leeks are tender, about 15 -20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the leeks onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Let cool to room temperature.
Line up the leeks on a serving platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Add a grind or two of black pepper. Serve at room temperature.
For those on a Bland Diet, if you can’t tolerate the sharp vinaigrette, eat your leeks drizzled with a little olive oil and perhaps a squeeze of lemon.
Most recipes using leeks, including this one, call for just the white and pale green parts to be used, but don’t throw away the dark tougher greens. They give great flavor to stocks and broths, or can even be added to a bouquet garni.