Friday, February 11, 2011

Creamy Cold Mustardy Leek Salad

Leeks and plenty dijon, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
This salad will never win any beauty contests. I attempted to take it's picture in the middle of last nights late night chow down determined to post it anyway, but the off color picture made the sad looking dish even worse. The important note here is that I DID make it again.
Whilst goofing off at work yesterday, I started thinking about the leek salad and jotted down some notes...reaction... adjectives... description... analogy.
Something important happened here. Some kind of kitchen epiphany or foodie religious experience...but now when producing a dish that does not live up to my expectations, yet continues to invade my thoughts, attention must be paid.
I started thinking about the alchemy of this dish. Here's this tangy, vivid, sinus clearing vinaigrette loaded with five tablespoons of Dijon (MC calls for the hottest dijon you can find) tossed into a bowl of limp and insipid cooked leeks. The vinaigrette instantly loses all of its character. Where'd the mustard go? What the hell just happened? Into the fridge for a couple of hours and the leeks are slowly lured over into a world of vibrancy that is so full of flavor. That's what intrigued me after the first attempt. What would happen if: I let them rest longer? mixed in more vinaigrette? cooked the leeks less? started with fresher leeks? better leeks? There were variables to be tried...a challenge to be met...a creative process to obsess over. Once again I'm snacking on cold leeks at 11:00 at night. It's about the journey now and if there's a great dish at the end of it? or a better dish? Well that's the icing on the cake.

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