Rooted in Spanish cuisine, Romesco is the ideal dipping sauce, also used for fish, chicken and tossing with pasta. Eating with leeks is a prized tradition. Recipe submitted by Chef Harding proprietor of Only On King, London.
- Large Leeks - 4 (the larger the white the better)
- Tomatoes - 4 large ripe (cored and halfed)
- Red Chili - 1 small ( halved and seeded)
- Red Bell Peppers - 4 (cored and quartered)
- Ontario Fresh/Frozen Garlic - 10 cloves
- Whole Almonds - 1/2 cup
- Good Sherry Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Spanish Smoked Paprika - 1 tsp. (mild)
- Kosher Salt - 2 Tbsp.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2/3 cup and 2 Tbsp for drizzling
- Good Parmesan Cheese - 1 chunk for shaving
1) Preheat barbeque to 400F or stove top grill over medium heat (white heat from coals gives a good crisp char).
2) Preheat oven to 350F.
3) Remove the very bottom and the green tops of the leeks. Run the leeks under cold water to rinse out any dirt, be thorough. Shake off excess water and place the leeks on grill. Leave on grill until black on each and every side. This burn will remove moisture and lend a deep smokey flavour to the leeks.
4) Place the hot black leeks into container and cover tightly with plastic wrap. The leeks will continue to cook for 20-30 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, place the tomatoes, peppers, chili, garlic and almonds in a large bowl. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with the salt. Toss well in bowl and place mixture on sheet pan. Place in oven for 20 minutes and mix with tongs every 5 minutes or so to prevent the almonds from getting to dark.
6) Put the mixture into a food processor and process until fine.Add the vinegar, olive oil and smoked paprika. Your sauce should be thick and will be the counter balance to the bitter note in the leeks. Season to taste and serve at room temperature.
7) To eat, peel the first two layers of the leeks. Place on a plate and cover with the romesco sauce. Garnish with shaved parmesan and really good olive oil.