This is leeks vinaigrette in a different form and just as simple to make. It’s a lovely show-off dinner party dish. A slice of the pretty green and white chequerboard terrine is served eighties throw-back style surrounded by a few crevettes grises, prettily dressed with a swirl of lemon vinaigrette and sprinkling of chives. Alternatively and just as stunning, surround it with slivers of black truffle instead. The terrine is inspired by a refined version I ate years ago when Pierre Koffmann presided over La Tante Claire on Royal Hospital Road and again more recently, when he cooked at a pop-up restaurant on the roof of Selfridges.
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 15 min
1.5kg similar thickness trimmed leeks
70g carton peeled crevettes grises
small bunch chives
for the vinaigrette:
1 tsp runny honey
50ml fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Maille Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
150ml extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
couple of sprigs of thyme
2 strips lemon zest
you will need a 24x7x7cm deep terrine tin or something comparable and clingfilm
Trim the leeks, leave to soak in a bowl of water to draw out any dirt trapped between the layers. Steam until tender. Line the terrine with a sheet of clingfilm large enough to fold over and securely cover the leeks. Pack the leeks into the terrine, trimming where necessary to line up snugly and piling high in the tin. Fold over the clingfilm. Place on a small roasting tin to catch the inevitable overspill. It’s the sticky juice that squeezes out of the compressed leeks that acts as glue to hold them together. Hunt down a piece of wood or cut a thick piece of card to fit the top of the tin, pop it in a plastic bag or wrap in clingfilm to avoid it getting sodden, and pile with weights, heavy cans or similar. The card distributes the weight so the leeks are evenly compressed. Cool then chill for at least 24 hours and up to 48. Remove the weights just before serving. Lift the terrine out of the tin with the help of unfurled clingfilm, cover with a chopping board and invert. Have 8 plates, crevettes grises and vinaigrette ready. Slice the terrine with a sharp, thin bladed knife, cover the slice with the flat of an egg slice then quickly transfer to a plate. Continue thus then scatter a few crevettes grises around the terrine and spoon over the vinaigrette, serving the rest in a bowl or jug for top-ups. Garnish with snipped chives.
To make the vinaigrette, dissolve the honey and a pinch of salt in the lemon juice. Stir in the mustard, season with black pepper and whisk in the olive oil, adding it in a trickle, continuing to make a thick, glossy, yellow vinaigrette. Thin with a little water if it seems too thick.