Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grilled Baby Leeks with Romesco Sauce


2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 roasted red pepper from a jar, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 small ancho chile, seeded
3 tablespoons hazelnuts
2 1/2-inch-thick slices baguette, toasted, and torn into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons roasted almonds coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 baby leeks or thick scallions, trimmed


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the ancho in a small heatproof bowl and cover with hot tap water. Allow to soak for about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain.

Toast the hazelnuts in a pie plate for about 10 minutes in the oven, or until they become fragrant and have lightly browned. Once the hazelnuts have cooled, use a kitchen towel to rub them together to remove the skin. Let the nuts cool completely, and then coarsely chop them.

Combine the ancho, hazelnuts, toasted baguette, almonds and garlic together in a blender. Blend the ingredients until they form a smooth paste. Next, add the tomatoes, roasted red peppers and vinegar and puree the mixture. Leaving the machine on, slowly add ¼ cup of the olive oil to mix and process until it’s well blended and smooth.

Put the romesco sauce in a bowl and stir the parsley into the mix. Season this with salt and black pepper. Brush the leeks with some oil and season with the salt and pepper to taste. Grill the leeks over high heat until they are completely charred, or about three minutes.

Serve with the romesco sauce on the side. 


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