Leeks are a highly underrated vegetable, in our opinion. Here they take center stage and are enhanced with a generous slathering of tangy Romesco sauce (which is considered a mother sauce in Spanish cooking). This unique, elegant veggie side is a breeze to make, and so delicious to boot!

Caramelized Leeks With Romesco Sauce [Vegan]

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Ingredients

Romesco Sauce:
  • 5 tomatoes (ripe, medium-sized)
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 4  Ñora pepper (alternatively use dried ancho peppers)
  • 2  Guindilla chillies (alternatively use jalapeño peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, roasted
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, roasted
  • 2 slices white bread, toasted
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Generous 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pimentón
  • Salt
Leeks:
  • 6 leeks
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
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Preparation

To Make the Romesco Sauce:
  1. First, hydrate the dry peppers in a bowl with hot water for at least 2-3 hours. Remove the seeds and reserve the flesh.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Roast the tomatoes and the garlic cloves. Take the garlic out after 12 minutes and leave the tomatoes for another five minutes.
  3. Peel the tomatoes, garlic, Ñoras, almonds, and hazelnuts.
  4. Toast the slice of bread.
  5. Put everything together with the oil and the vinegar in a bowl and mix thoroughly. The orthodox way to mix it is with the help of a mortar but you can also use a hand mixer being careful not to overdo it.
  6. Add in the pimentón, a pinch of salt and a Guindilla top to give it a kick. Mix again, taste it and correct the amount of salt and/or vinegar if needed.
To Make the Leeks:
  1. Wash the leeks thoroughly, chop the green bit off, and disregard it. For this recipe, we’ll only use the white part of the leek.
  2. Heat a medium-sized saucepan and gently melt the butter, sugar, vinegar and salt.
  3. Add the leeks and cook gently for around 25 to 30 minutes, until they turn golden on the outside.
  4. Serve together with a generous amount of Romesco sauce.
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