One can barely cook at all without the lily family (onions, garlic, shallots, scallions and the like), yet rarely is one of its members the star of a dish. Poached leeks are a marvelous exception. A mainstay of any bistro worth its fleur de sel, poireaux vinaigrette pairs sweet, mild leeks with a bold, mustardy dressing, and is the simplest of classics. Naturally, we took some liberte, fortifying the poaching liquid with a lemony wheat beer, plus a splash more in the vinaigrette. Finish the dish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, and serve with a crusty baguette to sop up every bit of the weizen-spiked dressing.
- 8 medium leeks, dark green parts trimmed
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bottle wheat beer, divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
• Slice the leeks lengthwise to about 1 inch above the root end (trim off the tough outer layer and most of the hairy roots), and soak in a large bowl of water for 15 minutes. Rinse under more cold water to remove any sand between the layers. Drain on paper towels.