The winter has been long and wet, some snow, but mostly gray.
A few good days here and there have helped some of the early wild plants to thrive. The wild leek is having an excellent spring, more flavor than in many years. Remember the soup from last year? Well, even tastier this year. Two thirds leek and one third potatoes; chicken bouillon and eventually some cream. Just a dash of pepper was needed this year, fabulous flavor.
This spurned me on to check for other recipes. For todays starter I made the following: Wash your leeks; peel the outer leaves down to the stalk, washing made easy and then roll the leaves up again. I steamed them in my, yes you may laugh, old dependable steamer. Then dried them on a clothe; I am great fan of clothes for vegetables; pickup some linen napkins at the next garage sale.
In the meanwhile I heated my grill to a very high temperature, and quickly tossed the leek stalks unto it, turning them as needed. Taste varies from charred to lightly roasted. At market I found some white asparagus which I prepared in quite the standard fashion, google if you do know how, and cut the asparagus spears lenghtwise into halves. I laid out the leek stalks and asparagus spears in a dish; added fresh lemon thyme, and some diced hardboiled eggs. The dressing was a liquidy mayonnaise.
A dusting of wild sumac finished off the dish. Not French, I know, but very good.
The woodcutters use to put wild leek in between slices of bread. I placed some of this salad into a vertically sliced baguette. A winner, truly; vegetarians take note.
A more interesting version was enjoyed by a friend in a ski resort restaurant in the Pyrenées. Clients were given bibs and plastic gloves to remove the truly charred parts of the wild grilled leak and left to enjoy the rest. Whatever your grilling preference wild leek is truly better for it.