Bob Batz, Jr., of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writes: "In cookbooks and restaurants of all kinds, you’ve seen eggs on top of just about everything, from hamburgers to pizza. You can get all sorts of ideas from the new cookbook 'Eggs on Top: Recipes Elevated by an Egg' by Andrea Slonecker." In this recipe, he says, "You easily could substitute chicken eggs, boiled to your desired doneness."
Leeks Vinaigrette with Herbed Quail Eggs
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large or 8 small leeks
1-1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
6 quail eggs, cooked for 2-1/2 minutes
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tender herbs, such as dill, tarragon, chervil or parsley
Fill a large pot two-thirds full of water, season well with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking constantly until the dressing is fully blended. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. The vinaigrette should be thickened and homogenous, with a fairly strong, sour flavor that will be balanced by the sweet leeks.
Prepare the leeks by trimming the roots and dark green ends so you’re left with just the light green and white parts. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and then crosswise, so that they are each about 4 to 5 inches long. If the leek halves are wider than 1 inch, cut them in half again lengthwise. Rinse under cold running water, getting between the leaves to remove any dirt but keeping them intact. Tie the leeks in 4 bundles with kitchen twine.
When the water is boiling, add the leeks. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the leeks are very tender and sweet, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander in the sink until they are dry and cooled to just above room temperature.
Arrange the leeks on a long platter so that they are all pointing in the same direction. Pour the vinaigrette down the center of the row of leeks and sprinkle on the capers. Peel the quail eggs.
Put the herbs on a small plate and, one at a time, roll the eggs in them to coat thoroughly. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and dot on top of the leeks. Garnish with pepper and serve family-style at the table.
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