By Andrew Zimmern
Charred Leeks with Calamansi Vinaigrette & Blistered Tomatoes
- 6 – 8 long, thin young leeks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup calamansi vinegar; I get mine from Huilerie Beaujolaise. They have other citrus vinegars as well and they all work beautifully in this recipe
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 anchovies
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the calamansi vinaigrette, combine the evoo, vinegar, honey, mustard, lime juice, anchovies and shallots in a blender and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper and reserve. Some people may like a tad more calamansi vinegar or sweetness so adjust to your taste.
Clean and trim the leeks: Remove the dark green tops, and the root end, leaving as much of it intact as you can so the leek doesn’t fall apart. Inspect the leeks; if you need to make a small incision and rinse them to clean off any dirt you will need to dry them thoroughly before charring.
Brush leeks and tomatoes with the olive oil, season well with salt and pepper.
Over a natural hardwood charcoal fire, with grate lowered right over high heat, char the leeks and set them aside. This will take about 4 – 5 minutes for young leeks. If your leeks are larger you will need to adjust for their maturity and roast them a bit before charring them.
Remove the grate, and using the tongs, char 3 or 4 tomatoes at a time by placing them on hot coals without white ash (you can blow on them to shake the coal bed to lower the ash into fire). Just blister them and reserve to a plate.
Pour some of the vinaigrette on a platter, lay the leeks down and garnish with the blistered tomatoes. Garnish with some small mint leaves if desired.