Buy young, fresh leeks for this unusual starter and serve with rosemary-perfumed mayonnaise and fingers of buttered, whole wheat bread.


8 leeks

250 ml salted chicken stock

2 bay leaves

2 x 7,5 cm sprigs fresh rosemary

paprika to garnish



1 egg

20 ml lemon juice

2 ml salt

200 ml oil

5 ml sugar

10 ml Dijon mustard

50 ml sour cream


Cut off roots and most of the tops of the leeks, leaving not more than 3 cm of the green leaves. Remove outside layer. Make a shallow cut down length of leek so that the layers may be opened out slightly. Wash very well to remove grit. Put stock, bay leaves and rosemary sprigs into large frying pan with a lid. Add leeks, bring to boil and simmer, covered, for about 7 - 10 minutes or until just cooked. Cool in liquid, then drain and chill, reserving rosemary.

To make the mayonnaise, place egg, lemon juice, salt, 25 ml oil, sugar and mustard into a blender. Strip needles from the reserved cooked rosemary sprigs and add. Blend until well mixed, then with motor running, add remaining oil in a slow, steady stream. Tip into small bowl, stir in sour cream, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

To serve, arrange chilled leeks on serving plates - 2 each should be enough, depending on size. Spoon some mayonnaise down the centre of each serving, and dust with paprika.


Serves 4.


country : South Africa

course : starter


source : The Best of Cooking in South Africa / Lynn Bedford Hall