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Leeks Vinaigrette with Fried Eggs and Smoked Prosciutto
© John Kernick

Leeks Vinaigrette with Fried Eggs and Smoked Prosciutto

  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8
  • FAST
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

When Paul Kahan develops recipes, he starts with something traditional—like leeks vinaigrette, the time-honored French dish—then adds a twist. Here he substitutes fried eggs for the standard hard-boiled-egg topping and adds crisp strips of speck, a smoked prosciutto.

  1. 8 medium leeks (4 pounds), white and tender green parts only, halved lengthwise
  2. 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  3. 1 small shallot, minced
  4. 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  5. 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
  6. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  7. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 8 slices (1/2 pound) of speck (See Note)
  9. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  10. 8 large eggs
  11. 2 tablespoons minced chives
  1. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the leeks, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the leeks to the ice water to cool. Drain well, then transfer the leeks to paper towels to dry, cut side down.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the shallot, mustard and tarragon. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Working in batches, fry the speck over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp around the edges, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Add the butter to the skillet and reduce the heat to moderate. Crack 2 eggs into the skillet and fry, basting the eggs with fat, until the whites are set and the yolks are still slightly runny, about 3 minutes. Transfer the fried eggs to a plate. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Season the fried eggs with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, coat the leeks with the vinaigrette, keeping them intact. Arrange the leeks on a platter or on individual plates and top with the speck and fried eggs. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette on top, sprinkle with the chives and serve.
Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate the leeks and the vinaigrette separately; let return to room temperature before proceeding with the dish. Notes Speck is available at specialty food stores. If you can't find it, use regular prosciutto instead.