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Leeks vinaigrette with quail eggs and brioche crumbs

This simple dish makes a hero of its main ingredient: young leeks. Look out for leeks about as thick as your finger - they'll be tender and subtly sweet. Soak them in cold water for about 20 minutes before cooking to remove any dirt and grit stored in their many layers.

You'll need

12 quail eggs, at room temperature 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped 70 ml olive oil 50 gm coarse crustless brioche crumbs Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½ 12 young leeks, trimmed, halved and soaked 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp Champagne vinegar 30 gm salted baby capers, rinsed well 30 gm cornichons, finely chopped


  • 01
  • Boil quail eggs until cooked to your liking (2-3 minutes for soft yolks), drain, refresh under cold running water, then peel, halve and set aside.
  • 02
  • Heat butter and 30ml oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add brioche crumbs and stir occasionally until golden brown and crisp (1-2 minutes), stir in lemon rind, season to taste and set aside.
  • 03
  • Cook leeks in a wide saucepan of simmering salted water until bright green and just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife (10-12 minutes). Drain and refresh under cold water, drain well again, pat dry with absorbent paper, then arrange on a serving platter.
  • 04
  • Combine mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and remaining oil in a screw-top jar and shake until emulsified, then season to taste and add capers and cornichons.
  • 05
  • Spoon dressing over leeks, top with quail eggs, scatter with brioche crumbs, and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Featured in

Oct 2013

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