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Grilled Leeks with Roasted Pepper Vinaigrette & Goat Cheese

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Serves four as a first course.

Yields 1 cup vinaigrette.

To make the vinaigrette ahead, char the peppers under a broiler flame instead of a grill fire and be sure to whisk the vinaigrette just before serving. Any leftover dressing is good with all sorts of grilled or steamed vegetables and with arugula, too. Try a combination of red and yellow peppers.

  • 2 small or 1 large red bell pepper (enough to yield 1 cup roasted)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more for preparing the leeks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 medium leeks, root end intact (dark green parts removed), halved lengthwise, and washed
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil
Make the vinaigrette:

Prepare a grill fire. Slice off the tops and bottoms of the peppers and make an incision down the length of each pepper. Flatten each into one long piece; remove the ribs and seeds. Char the peppers skin side down over a medium-hot fire until the skins are blackened and blistered. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic, and let steam. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skins. Put the flesh in a food processor, along with the garlic, vinegar, and cayenne; purée until smooth. With the motor running, pour the olive oil through the feed tube in a slow, thin stream. Adjust the seasonings and thin with a bit of water if needed (it will be fairly thick).

Prepare the leeks:

Simmer the leeks in well salted water until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Arrange on a platter and let cool to room temperature. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the leeks over a medium-hot fire until charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. While they’re still warm, drizzle them with the vinaigrette, crumble the goat cheese over the top, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 450; Fat (g): fat g 36; Fat Calories (kcal): 330; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 7; Protein (g): protein g 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 24; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 28; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 400; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 10; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Amy Albert

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