Orange, Olive and Baby Leek Salad with Verjus-Tarragon Dressing

  • "Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts" by Aglaia Kremezi (c) Stewart, Tabori & Chang 2014. Reprinted with permission from Stewart, Tabori & Chang. All rights reserved.
Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
10 min
Inactive Prep:
1 hr
4 to 6 servings


  • 4 baby leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced (keep the rest for use in broth)
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 Valencia oranges
  • 2 cups (360 g) full-flavored brine-cured black olives (such as Pelion or Nicoise), rinsed and dried on paper towels
    • For the dressing:
    • 1/4 cup (60 ml) good, fruity olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons verjus (see Notes)
    • Salt
    • Good pinch of Mara pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh tarragon (see Notes)


    Place the leeks in a bowl, sprinkle generously with salt, add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water and toss. Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

    Peel the oranges, halve them, discard any pips and remove the hard central membrane. With a sharp knife, carefully cut each half into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange on a shallow platter and add the olives.

    Drain the leeks and press between double layers of paper towels to dry. Sprinkle the leeks over the sliced oranges.

    Make the dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, verjus, a pinch of salt (keep in mind that olives are usually quite salty), the Mara pepper and the tarragon. Taste, correct the seasoning, pour over the salad and serve.

    Notes: You can substitute 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon white wine for the verjus, if you like. If you cannot find fresh tarragon you can substitute 3 tablespoons mint leaves.