Grilled Leek Vinaigrette
- 12 medium leeks (about 4 1/2 pounds), tough outer leaves discarded
- Vegetable oil, for grilling
- 1/3 cup minced assorted fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, mint, basil, and tarragon
- 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and diced fine
- 4 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
- 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
- Diced hard-boiled egg, for garnish
Trim the leeks to about 7 inches long. Split them lengthwise to within 1 1/2 inches of the root end, leaving the root end intact. Submerge the leeks in a large bowl of water, let them soak to release any dirt or sand, for several minutes. Lift the leeks out of the water and discard the water.
Pour about 1-inch of water into a large saucepan, and set up a collapsible steamer inside. Bring the water to boil and steam the leeks, covered, until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Shock the leeks in a bowl of ice water and drain. Cut the leeks apart at the root ends and drain them on paper towels. Transfer the leeks to a shallow dish.
Brush the leeks with the vegetable oil and, working in batches, grill them over medium heat until charred and soft, about 4 minutes per side. (The leeks may be prepared up to the is point 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.)
Pour the vinaigrette over the leeks and turn them to coat evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.