Potato and Leek Salad


When I was making my menu a few days ago, it was cold and blustery outside. I also had some potatoes that needed to be used. Destiny seemed to be handing me a steaming bowl of Potato and Leek Soup.

But wait, this is Southern Destiny. And what’s that she’s wearing? Short sleeves and sandals? By the time Potato and Leek Soup night rolled around, it was a balmy 70°. I took the potatoes and leeks from Destiny’s hands, but left the soup for another day.

I do have to give some credit to Mr. Quotidian for the inspiration for this recipe. I told him I was considering switching around dinners to accommodate the warmer weather and make the pasta salad instead. He, being the ironic husband that he is, asked if we were therefore having potato and leek salad.

And that was all it took.

This recipe is inspired by the classic flavors of Potato and Leek Soup. It’s seasoned with bacon drippings and a simple vinaigrette. You could easily make it more complex by adding other herbs and spices, but I think that would detract from the beauty of this recipe. As it is, simplicity keeps the flavors in harmony. The potatoes taste like potatoes.  The leeks taste leek-y. And the mushrooms . . . well, you get the idea. The only addition I would perhaps add next time is bacon. I used bacon drippings as both the roasting fat and oil in the vinaigrette because I happened to have some on hand. But some actual bacon, not just the drippings, would give the salad a nice crunch without stealing the show.

If you don’t have bacon or drippings around, I’m sure this would work with a different oil. Just be sure to use a good tasting one, like melted butter or olive oil, because both the potatoes and mushrooms are flavor sponges, soaking up whatever you drizzle over them. It’d be a shame to miss an opportunity like that by using something flavorless (or worse) like vegetable oil. If you use something other than bacon drippings, just make sure you remember to add salt to the veggies and dressing, as my recipe doesn’t call for it because of the salt already in the drippings

Potato and Leek Salad
Serves 2 with leftovers

6-7 small red potatoes, cut into fourths (I had one extra white potato, so I threw it in there too.)

2 leeks, cut in half lengthwise

1 package white mushrooms, stems cut flush with the cap

6-8 tbs bacon drippings, melted if they are solid

2 tbs cider vinegar

pinch freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch mixed greens

Preheat oven to 450°. Arrange potatoes, leeks, and mushrooms cut side down a baking sheet. Spoon bacon drippings over the vegetables. If you have a pastry brush, this would be a good time to use it. Roast the veggies in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until leeks are limp when lifted up.


While the veggies are roasting, make the vinaigrette. In a small jar with a lid (I use a jam jar), add the cider vinegar and pepper. Shake to combine. Then add about 2 tbs of the bacon drippings. Shake jar vigorously until an emulsion forms and it takes on the consistency of cream. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary.

Remove the leeks to a cutting board to cool. Flip the mushrooms and potatoes over and arrange along the outside rim, for better browning. If they look a little dry or are sticking, drizzle a little more drippings over them. I didn’t need to, though. Roast for another 10 minutes, or until a knife tip inserted into potatoes comes out easily. Meanwhile, use scissors to cut the leeks into bite sized pieces into a large bowl.

When the potatoes and mushrooms are done, add them to the bowl of leeks. Toss them all together gently. In another bowl, toss your greens with the vinaigrette. Portion out the greens onto plates and top with the potato and leek mixture. There will be leftover veggies to eat cold the next day.


This post is part of Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet.

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Posted in Uncategorized 14 years, 5 months ago at 6:32 am.


4 Replies

  1. Wow, Jana! That looks really delicious! May have to give this a try when the weather gets warmer! I must admit, I’m quite jealous that you guys are having 70-degree weather. That’s my favorite kind!

    Great recipe, and thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Rachelle Jan 21st 2010

    Looks good! I wonder what it would be like if you roasted the potatoes and leeks the same way, but then made a mayonnaise-type potato salad? With bacon? Could be delicious. You could even use bacon fat mayonnaise, but that might be excessive. Or make it a marinated salad with the same vinaigrette. Just thinking, since that’s what I thought it was when I saw the title.

  3. This looks super yummy. Thanks!

  4. First, what beautiful pictures! Secondly, thanks so much for sharing a very frugal and nourishing salad as part of Pennywise Platter. :-)

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