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.
- 3 bunch young leeks; trimmed of all but 2/3 of green
- 1/2 Cup olive oil
- 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
- 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.
- 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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