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Charred Leeks with Caper-Herb Sauce

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 146

Sweet grilled leeks topped with a tangy herb sauce are ideal as a first course or as a side to grilled steak. Because you cook the leeks intact, try to find ones that are about the same size.

  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 medium leeks
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice, mustard, and 1/4 tsp. salt. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the oil. Add the basil, parsley, capers, anchovies, and pepper flakes, and stir.

Trim the dark-green tops from the leeks, leaving the white and light-green parts. Trim any scraggly roots but keep the root end intact. Halve the leeks lengthwise, then remove and discard any tough outer layers. Rinse the leeks well under cool running water. Fill a wide pot (8 quart works well) with 3 inches of well-salted water. Bring to a boil, add the leeks, and cook until just tender when pierced with a knife, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F ) gas or charcoal grill, or heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the leeks lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, flipping once, until charred and tender, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with some of the herb sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining herb sauce and a sharp knife for cutting.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 240, Fat Calories (kcal): 180, Fat (g): 21, Saturated Fat (g): 3, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15, Cholesterol (mg): 0, Sodium (mg): 280, Carbohydrates (g): 14, Fiber (g): 2, Sugar (g): 4, Protein (g): 2

Photo: Scott Phillips

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