Burnt leeks on toast with romesco

Sweet when blanched, slightly bitter when burned, these perfectly balanced leeks atop crusty ciabatta make an easy, healthy, vegan starter

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:25 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 221
  • fat 9g
  • saturates 1g
  • carbs 25g
  • sugars 3g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 9g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 50g whole blanched almonds
  • 100g cooked red peppers from a jar, drained
  • 1 large ciabatta loaf, sliced
  • ½ tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tsp
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 leeks, each cut into 4 pieces


  1. Toast the almonds in a dry pan until golden. Put the almonds, peppers, 1 small ciabatta slice (about 10g – an end piece is ideal), 1/ 2 tbsp olive oil, the vinegar, chilli, paprika , garlic and some seasoning in a food processor (or use a stick blender). Blend until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and chill in the fridge until needed. Can be done a day in advance.

  2. Put the leeks in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins. Drain on kitchen paper until needed.

  3. When you’re ready to serve, heat grill to high. Put the cooked leeks on a baking tray, season and drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil. Grill the leeks until starting to blacken, about 8-10 mins, turning once during cooking.

  4. Toast the remaining ciabatta slices and spread with a little of the romesco. Gently pull the leeks into ribbons and pile them on top. Season well and serve immediately.

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