Sunday, April 11, 2010

Salmon with Leeks Fondue

As you already know from my post on Leeks and Potatoes Soup, leeks are one of my favorite vegetables... but I always have a hard time paying $$$ for what is a staple vegetable in France. Since we managed to get a really good deal on leeks a few weeks ago, we purchased a lot, used some fresh and froze the remaining for une prochaine fois. When we have fresh leeks, I always make this recipe. Or to be more precise, I always purchase salmon and serve it with une fondue de poireaux (melt-in-your-mouth cooked leeks). BUT the end-result might not be exactly the same. Pourquoi? Because I can not make the same recipe twice. I just can't. I always want to try something new so I tweak my recipe un tout petit peu or beaucoup. This tends to drive my husband crazy because whenever he likes one dish, he tends to want exactly the same one...
I, on the other hand, think that there is always room for improvement and/or innovation in the kitchen. So, I improvise.
Sometimes the end-result is delicious, sometimes it's OK, sometimes, we just don't enjoy it.  Improvising is also a way for me to keep cooking interesting because let's face it, the daily cooking is not that fun when you cook the same dishes over and over again (ahem, how many times did you have pizza in the last four weeks?) It's also a way to serve "the same dish" in a different way to my children. So, how do I do? I just use my recipe as a base and then I play with spices (a few coriander seeds, a little bit of coriander powder, a little bit of Cayenne pepper, plenty of dill, etc.); I play with the salmon (baked in the oven, grilled in a pan, boiled); I play with the dressing (none, crème fraîche, flavored crème fraîche, lemon, etc.) and with the side dish (none, boiled potatoes, rice, etc..) I know that some people need to have a recipe written in stone to be able to cook. I don't, or at least, not after the first attempt. For those of you who need the recipe and won't move from it, here it is. For those of you who like to have spices that are about to go bad try new things, feel free to make it yours! Bon Appétit!
- Salmon fillet (skin off)
- Leeks,  cleaned and cut into small pieces (see comments for quantity)
- Butter (or olive oil)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Spices of your choice

  • In a large sauce pan, saute the leeks in butter (or olive oil) over medium heat. Once all the leeks are coated with butter/oil, lower the temperature and cook the leeks until tender. Stirring occasionally (you don't want the leeks to burn). Depending on how much you are cooking, it might take up to 20-30 minutes.
  • While the leeks are cooking, pre-heat oven to 375F (170C)
  • Once the leeks are almost cooked, add spices (if any). Place the leeks in a large serving dish (that goes into the oven). If you feel that you made too much, take the extra and keep them cooked in the fridge.
  • Place salmon fillet on top of leeks and cook in the oven. Depending on how thick the fillets are and how you like your salmon, you will have to cook it for a longer period of time.
  • Serve immediately.
My Personal Comments:
  • I did not put any quantity of leeks because it will depend on if you decide to serve a side-dish of grains/rice as well. Just bear in mind that they tend to "shrink". My rule of thumbs is 2 medium-leeks per person. If I prepared too much leeks, I freeze them. If I cooked too much leeks, before putting the salmon on top, I take the extra and keep them in the fridge. I serve them with pasta or in a soup.
  • I tend to think that leeks taste better when cooked in butter but I have used Olive oil as well.
  • I tend to only serve it with leeks now that my children like them. The first few times, I would add a side-dish of rice so that they could mix the leeks and rice.


  1. I love leeks. The kids haven't tasted them yet because I rarely see them here. I can imagine that this tastes fantastic with the salmon

  2. I too am a leek lover. I wish they weren't so expensive. I have some growoing in my garden and hope for a better crop than last year. Your information on leeks was helpful, and the recipe with salmon sounds wonderful.

  3. I made the dish tonight. Turned out yummy. Salmon is one of our usual weekly dishes and I get tired of serving it the same way. Last week, instead of using herbs de provence and olive oil as I usually do, I used some barbecue sauce. It was so easy and good, too. I was thrilled to try your leeks recipe this week...a new way for us to eat salmon! It turned out great! Thanks for sharing...