David Lebovitz's Leeks with Mustard-Bacon Vinaigrette

April 29, 2014

All week long David Lebovitz -- professional cook, baker, and blogger -- will be sharing recipes from his new book, My Paris Kitchen. Follow along to win one of six copies we're giving away -- and find out why Paris really is always a good idea.

Today: A spring market vegetable with Parisian street style -- plus how to prep it to perfection. 

Shop the Story



Traditionally leeks for leeks vinaigrette were cooked in a big pot of boiling water. However, it’s better to steam them, which prevents them from getting waterlogged. Smaller leeks, which appear in the springtime in Paris markets, are preferable for this dish because they’re quite tender, although larger leeks are just fine, too. Just make sure that you clean the leeks very well, and cook them until they’re completely soft all the way through. 

When my partner Romain and I made this together and plated up the leeks, I got an unexpected lesson in the art of arranging the leeks, or poireaux: I learned that it’s imperative you lay them with the queue (tail) alternating with the tête (head). So I recommend you follow those instructions, if you don’t want to raise any Parisian eyebrows.

Leeks with Mustard-Bacon Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups (200 grams) thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into lardons
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
3 tablespoons neutral-tasting vegetable oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
5 large or 10 small leeks, cleaned
2 hard-cooked eggs

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

We're giving away a little piece of Paris every day this week! To enter to win today's copy of My Paris Kitchen, tell us in the comments: What's your favorite spring vegetable to bring home from the market? We'll pick six winners at random this Friday, May 2nd!

Photos excerpted from the book My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. © 2014 by David Lebovitz. Reprinted by permission of Ten Speed Press. All rights reserved.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Marygrace
  • adriana
  • SallyM
  • Deb
  • Eliza Lathrop
    Eliza Lathrop


Marygrace May 5, 2014
my favorite spring veggie is asparagus and i prepare in risotto. so yummy
adriana May 3, 2014
artichokes and asparagus. yum!
SallyM May 2, 2014
Asparagus is spring, topped with vinagrette and egg.
Deb May 2, 2014
the first crops of kale and spinach - hurray for fresh greens after a long winter!
Eliza L. May 2, 2014
radish! I love their zing. A friend just showed me how to slice them thin and eat them on a buttered baguette with a sprinkle of salt. yum.
iMaxed5770 May 1, 2014
Snap peas! They're so good, I eat them plain.
Mulzee May 1, 2014
Artichokes and rhubarb.
suzgab May 1, 2014
English peas are so much better when they are local and seasonal.
Lauren May 1, 2014
Lovely thick stalks of asparagus.
Keely B. May 1, 2014
English peas but only if they were just picked.
Garnetgirl May 1, 2014
Asparagus and mushrooms!
Sj D. May 1, 2014
Asparagus and artichokes..
BakerRB May 1, 2014
Sugar snap peas, English peas and rhubarb
DBolton May 1, 2014
Asparagus, artichokes and the king of fruits/vegetables rhubarb!
Maggie S. April 30, 2014
Radishes and asparagus. And spring onions! And rhubarb! Was I supposed to only pick one?
Michaela April 30, 2014
Fresh garlic!
Melissa April 30, 2014
asparagus and green garlic!
Incognito April 30, 2014
Fresh morels,fat green asparagus, green peas, bunches of spring onions, fiddleheads, tiny new potatoes, and a new one: fresh chickpeas!
JudyH April 30, 2014
fava beans! and fresh strawberries.
Jennifer K. April 30, 2014
Has to be asparagus. Lately I have been blanching it so it doesn't lose it's crunch and tossing it with quinoa, red onion, arugula, avocado, fresh feta and sliced almonds. Delicious and good for you, too!