The lowly leek, caramelized over charcoal, takes on a sweet and luxurious flavor, tempered yet equally enhanced by the spiciness of Romesco Sauce. Sublimely paired, this is a perfect side dish with meats or fish.
Charcoal-Grilled Leeks with Romesco Sauce

Charcoal-Grilled Leeks with Romesco Sauce
Recipe type: Vegetables
Serves: 6
  • 3 bunch young leeks; trimmed of all but 2/3 of green
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
Romesco Sauce:
  • 1 medium red pepper, roasted, skin, seeds and membranes removed
  • 6 ounces tomatoes, fresh (2 Roma)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 slice white bread
  • 1/4 Cup whole almonds; toasted
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons parsley, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika (pimenton)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat 1/2 Tablespoon oil in a small skillet and, over medium heat, fry the bread slice until golden on both sides. Grind the toasted almonds finely in a food processor, together with the bread, pepper flakes and garlic. Add the red pepper, tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper, puree to form a smooth paste. Whirl in the vinegar. with the motor running, add the oil slowly in a thin stream. Taste for seasoning. Reserve.
  2. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise down to within 1" of bottom, or root end. Rub them quite generously with olive oil and cook them over a covered charcoal grill until they are very tender or golden. Depending on their size and cooking method, they may take from 30-60 minutes. Turn occasionally while cooking. Serve the leeks warm with Romesco sauce on the side.

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