Leeks with green sauce


  • Serves 8 people

"If you can't find baby leeks, you are probably better off using spring onions," says Shaun Kelly. "You can make the green sauce the same day you serve it, but it's even better made a couple of days ahead to round out the flavours. I like to cook the leeks on the barbecue, although you could blanch them quickly and cook them in a char-grill pan instead."

  • 90 gm coarse fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 5 tsp olive oil
  • 2 large bunches baby (pencil) leeks
  • For squeezing: lemon wedges
  • Green sauce
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) each flat-leaf parsley, mint and chervil, plus extra to serve
  • ¼ cup (loosely packed) dill, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp (loosely packed) tarragon, plus extra to serve
  • 15 (45gm) anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
01   For the green sauce, pour a good glug of the oil into a mixing bowl and place next to your chopping board. Finely chop the herbs, leaving a little texture, and place them straight into the oil so they don’t lose their goodness. Add anchovies, capers and garlic, mix well and season to taste – the anchovies should take care of the salt, but you can add a healthy grind of pepper. Add remaining oil, or enough to form a drizzling consistency (you may not need all the oil), cover and refrigerate until required.
02   Preheat oven to 180C. Mix breadcrumbs and 3 tsp oil in a bowl to combine, season to taste, spread on an oven tray and bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted and golden (10-12 minutes). Set aside to cool.
03   Preheat a barbecue to high. Wash and trim the leeks, leaving a good amount of green on, and the roots, too, if they’re not too dirty. Drizzle with remaining oil and barbecue in batches, turning once, until charred and wilted (1-2 minutes each side). Serve hot with a good helping of green sauce, a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs, extra herbs and a squeeze of lemon.
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