Recipes from Mark Peel's New Classic Family Dinners

From Mark Peel's Award Winning Los Angeles Restaurant: Campanile


Mark Peel's restaurant, Campanile, needs no introduction. It's been featured in magazines and newspapers virtually since the day the doors opened, and for good reason. Chef Peel's cooking has always been about collecting the elements of classic recipes and redistributing them in unusual, and often offbeat ways. While Campanile is nominally an Italian restaurant, the delicious dishes frequently have influences that range across the classic cuisines of Europe, all based on the freshest ingredients available to the kitchen.

Nowhere is that more evident than in Family Dinner; Campanile's Monday night meal. A tradition in Los Angeles, the Campanile Family Dinner is a three-course meal, served family style, naturally, that revolves around a specific theme. These dinners, and the recipes developed for them, have created such a demand that Chef Peel knew it was time to give everyone a chance to enjoy them. Thus was born New Classic Family Dinners, simply a great cookbook full of time-tested recipes that are simple to prepare, yet deeply satisfying. I've chosen a pair that will make for a delightful late winter or early spring dinner.

Chef Mark Peel

Mark Peel is the owner and executive chef of Campanile restaurant, a Los Angeles favorite for 20 years, and winner of the 2001 James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Award. He has worked in France at La Tour d’Argent and Le Moulin de Mougins and in the U.S. at Maxwell’s Plum, Michael’s, Chez Panisse and Spago. In 1989, he opened both La Brea Bakery and Campanile with business partner Nancy Silverton, where he has earned such accolades as Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef, six James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef, and the 2005 California Restaurant Association Chef of the Year.
Buy: New Classic Family Dinners
Click here to download a printable PDF file of this recipe. Makes 4 servings

For some reason, Americans don’t use leeks as much as Europeans do. This classic French bistro dish may change your habits. Leeks are sweet, tender, and only mildly oniony; I love their gentle flavor and their pale, translucent green color. This works best if you have a baking pan that the leeks fit snugly into in a single layer. It will keep for several days in the refrigerator, but give it time to come back to room temperature before you serve it or the flavors will be muted.


2 pounds leeks, white and light green parts only
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 lemon, cut in paper-thin slices, seeds removed
3 or 4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs


1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and trim away all but 1⁄8 inch of the root, so that they hold together in one piece. Place in a bowl of cold water and swish to loosen the dirt, then run cold water over them, fanning the layers to wash away any dirt that may linger in between. Lay the leeks side by side, cut side up, in a baking dish. They should fit in one snug layer. Pour on the wine and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Drizzle on the olive oil and place the lemon slices over the leeks. Top with the parsley sprigs.

2. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to 450ºF, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, until the leeks are tender but not mushy and are beginning to color very lightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

3. Using tongs, remove the leeks from the baking pan and arrange in a gratin dish or in a wide bowl or platter. Pour the liquid in the pan into a bowl and whisk in the vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Pour over the leeks. Allow to cool, or if serving the next day, cover and chill. For best results, refrigerate overnight. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

4. Press the hard-cooked eggs through a sieve or chop them very fine, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange over the leeks, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

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  • Snooth User: Weingut
    130380 1

    Unfortuanately monkfish is way overfished, check out the Monterey Bay Acquarium for more sustainable choices.

    Feb 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM

  • Snooth User: isha
    41714 5

    Indeed, not only is Monkfish overfished, but the fishing method used to capture the animal is extremely disruptive to the ocean bed, killing many varieties of other ocean life and destroying habitat. Monkfish also reach reproductive maturity very slowly, which means that in order for populations to rebound, it will take a longer period of time. These factors combine for a doomsday scenario for the Monkfish species if recipes like this continue to circulate. Please use other fish so that the Monkfish population can rebuild.

    Feb 23, 2010 at 1:04 PM

  • Snooth User: phtman
    391034 1

    waa waa waa
    more environmental crybabies who want to save the world from the rest of us -
    piss off! Monkfish is delicious!

    Feb 23, 2010 at 1:41 PM

  • I agree, if we continue to eat non renewable fish such as monkfish and golden roughy there just won't be any around no more, forever. Much better to look at possible substitutions of sustainable fisheries .

    Feb 23, 2010 at 1:45 PM

  • Any of you have suggestions for what fish would be the best replacement in this recipe? I've never had Monkfish, but I thought I heard once that lobster was similar...?
    Thank you, environmental crybabies, for trying to save the world from the rest of us. Our grandchildren will appreciate it.

    Feb 23, 2010 at 2:06 PM

  • Snooth User: drillbaby
    391065 1

    As a substitute for the Monkfish, one may use phtman; unfortunately he is not endangered as well

    Feb 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM

  • Snooth User: tuaski
    371363 1

    What if I only use a small amount of monkfish that I grew in a tank at home so that the ocean bed remains safe from evil hungry people?

    Feb 23, 2010 at 2:47 PM

  • There really is not one perfect substitute, but a lobster tail is the best (fortunately, lobster prices are down). I like this site for substitutes, btw: Click on a category and it suggests substitution options. For monkfish, it also suggests blackfish, Mahi-Mahi, shark or red snapper. Have not checked on sustainability of any of these and have never had blackfish, but I know shark has a stronger fishy flavor, Mahi-Mahi has a sweeter flavor, and red snapper is usually not quite as meaty so cooking time would need to be reduced a bit. So my choice would be either lobster tail or red snapper.

    Feb 23, 2010 at 3:11 PM

  • Snooth User: gberry
    391122 1

    Hey, I didn't know they had a fish market... what looks good at the Monterey Aquarium today? And can you suggest a wine that goes with seahorse?

    Feb 23, 2010 at 3:35 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    I can appreciate the desire to want to keep our resource sustainable. I can't think of a suitable substitution for the monkfish but I will look into it.

    Feb 23, 2010 at 3:53 PM

  • ...and what would be the "perfect" wine with this meal?

    Feb 23, 2010 at 3:59 PM

  • Snooth User: seedboy
    153536 3

    Pinot noir, of course.

    Feb 23, 2010 at 4:11 PM

  • Snooth User: Redgrapes
    371228 9

    That looks so Deliciziouso! Maybe the orignal chef could provide us with some alternatives for his dish...

    Pinot Noir sounds good.

    Feb 23, 2010 at 4:24 PM

  • Leeks Vinaigrette

    Is kosher salt better than Fleur de Sel from Camargue (since Leek Vinaigrette is a French specialty )...or a fragrant, semi-coarse sea salt from Trappani (Sicilly)
    I would dare to recommend for this dish a Sparkling Rose made of Pinot Noir grapes which would stand up nicely to the lemon/lemon juice/black pepper
    (perhaps a Spanish Cava Pinot Noir Brut ...)

    Feb 24, 2010 at 4:21 AM

  • ddicksonil, thanks for the website, the Cooks Thesaurus, perfect for us food geeks!

    Feb 24, 2010 at 11:02 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Yes, great tool to help all of us. Perfect for food AND wine geeks!

    Feb 24, 2010 at 11:25 AM

  • Snooth User: Can2isac
    333679 129

    Leeks are over fished and I just can't bare to indulge into something that will destory our planet....Pleeeeeease let bust out some spainsh whites and some Oregon Pinot Noirs!

    Feb 24, 2010 at 8:52 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Mmmm in-and-out burger.

    Are they endangered?

    With a malt.

    Feb 24, 2010 at 9:27 PM

  • Snooth User: Can2isac
    333679 129

    The only malts I prefer is ones in a scotch.

    Feb 24, 2010 at 10:48 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Good enough for me.

    Truth is a have one every 5 years or so, love the first 15-20% before it gets to be too much, Those first sips bring back memories though!

    Feb 26, 2010 at 5:01 PM

  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 5,000

    Assume you mean the malteds, Greg, not the single-malts... ;-)

    Feb 28, 2010 at 6:45 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    I did, but to each his, or her, own.

    Mar 08, 2010 at 9:25 AM

  • Snooth User: timmeeb
    437526 3

    This website's tag line is find better wines. I've just logged in for the first time. About all I'm finding here is better whines. Unbelievable.

    Mar 27, 2010 at 12:04 PM

  • Snooth User: okkydok
    441584 1

    A whiner whining about wine. ha ha!

    Mar 31, 2010 at 7:34 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748


    Apr 01, 2010 at 11:07 AM

  • While in Cassis we had the best braised octopus in a boullabaise-style sauce that we will probably never be able to top but I'm thinking maybe a risotto with octopus just might give it a run.

    May 03, 2010 at 3:42 PM

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