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Author Notes: As a lover of crispy fried foods, I thought it would be nice to add a crunchy topping to a salad full of the fruit of the season - pears, citrus, and avocado. The trick it to fry the leeks for a few seconds only - the leeks crisps should be light golden in color when you remove them from the hot oil. —Bevi
For the Salad
- 1 leek, washed and dried, halved lengthwise and then sliced crosswise in 1/4 inch strips
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- Himalayan or sea salt
- 8 handfuls salad greens
- 1 red pear, skin on, sliced very thinly
- 1 juicy orange, segmented in supremes over a small bowl to catch the juice, and then squeeze the remains to release more juice
- 1/2 avocado, sliced very thinly
- 4 tablespoons goat cheese - 1 tablespoon per serving
For the Citrus Vinaigrette
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
- juice of segmented orange
- enough lemon juice to make 4 tablespoons of citrus juice when combined with the orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Assemble the salad servings: place 2 handfuls each of the salad greens on 4 salad plates. Arrange 4 thin slices of pear, 3 orange supremes, and 2 slices of avocado atop each plate of salad. Break each tablespoon of goat cheese into bits and scatter around salad serving. Set salads aside.
- Make the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients listed. You may want to add a little more olive oil to create a nice emulsion. Check for seasoning as well as amount or honey or agave syrup. Set aside.
- Slice the leeks as noted. First, chop off most of the green part of the leek, leaving a little of the lighter green part of the leek. Then, slice the leek lengthwise down the middle. Wash very well, and dry the leek even better. Place the leek halves cut side down, and slice each half crosswise into 1/4" half circles. Pat the leeks with a kitchen towel to remove all traces of moisture.
- Heat a medium sized saute pan over a medium flame. Add the canola oil. After a few moments, test the oil temperature by adding a piece of leek to the saute pan. If the leek sizzles, the pan is ready.
- Fry the leek bits by half-handfuls. It will take about 10 seconds for the leeks to turn a light golden color, so be hovering over the pan. Have a wire mesh skimmer close by so you can immediately scoop out the golden crisped leeks, and transfer them onto paper towels. Keep frying by half handfuls until all the leeks are fried.
- NB - there is nothing that tastes as bitter as a black, fried leek, so fish out any bits that are overly crisped.
- Lightly salt the leeks, and blot away as much oil as possible.
- Spoon a tablespoon of vinaigrette on each salad serving. Serve extra vinaigrette on the side.
- Place a hearty handful of leeks on the top of each salad serving, and enjoy the crunch and the contrast to the greens and the sliced fruits.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Leeks