My town is too small to have pancetta, so I used Gwaltney no sugar, low(er) fat bacon and it was, I think, just as yummy!


Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 30 min

8 medium leeks (3 1/2 lb)
2 teaspoons salt
2 oz thinly sliced pancetta, chilled
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cut off dark green tops of leeks and trim root ends. Halve each leek lengthwise to within 2 inches of root end. Rinse well under cold running water to wash away sand. Cover leeks with cold water in a 12-inch heavy skillet. Add salt and simmer leeks, uncovered, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer leeks to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.

While leeks simmer, finely chop pancetta, then cook in 1 tablespoon oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl until emulsified. Add leeks and gently toss to coat. Serve topped with pancetta and parsley.

Makes 4 servings.