Leek, tarragon and quail`s egg salad

This recipe comes from my book Citrus and Spice A Year of Flavour .   It can be served as a starter for four or as a light main course for two.

12 quail’s eggs

20 baby leeks, about 525g

1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard

2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

a handful tarragon leaves, snipped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

100g mixed rocket and red chard leaves

Place the eggs in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring up to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes then remove and cool under cold running water before peeling.

Trim the leeks, cut away their roots and top darkest part of their green leaves.  Remove their tough outer leaf and cut a cross in the pale green section of their leaves – like the top of the mop.   Wash them thoroughly in a sinkful of cold water.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the leeks. Return to the boil and cook briskly for 3 minutes or until the leeks are just tender.   Drain and cool under cold running water, then pat dry on kitchen paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Add the tarragon and season to taste. Set aside until needed.

When you are ready to serve, mix the leeks into the vinaigrette, followed by the salad leaves. Divide into airy piles between 4 plates. Halve the eggs and tuck 6 egg halves on each salad. Serve immediately.



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