• Clare McElhatton

Leeks with Tomato Vinaigrette


· 250g cherry tomatoes

· 1 clove garlic

· Roughly 30ml of good Olive Oil

· Salt

· Sherry or Red Wine Vinegar (optional)

· Black pepper (optional)

· 1 large leek

· wholegrain mustard




Method:

1. Wash the tomatoes. Roughly blend them with a stick blender to make a thick liquid. Alternatively, use a knife or rolling pin to mush them!

2. Thinly slice one clove of garlic and add to the tomatoes with a good pinch of salt.

3. Stir and leave to sit for at least an hour. If it’s a warm day, it can sit like this (the tomatoes need to be at least room temperature, or they won’t taste of anything). On a colder day, quickly heat through the tomato mix in a pan and leave to rest for an hour or so. Or they can be left overnight in the fridge.

4. Once the tomatoes and garlic have been sat for long enough, pass through a sieve to get a smooth sauce.

5. Taste- if the tomatoes are tart or zingy enough, there’s no need to add vinegar. If not, add around 1tsp of vinegar. The dressing should be sweet, savoury, a little acidic and have the flavour of garlic.

6. To thicken the dressing, use an immersion (stick) blender and create a ‘whirlpool’ in the dressing. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until it emulsifies and thickens. It will need around 30ml but maybe more or less, depending on how much juice was in the tomatoes.

If you don’t have a blender, this step can be done using a whisk instead.

7. Taste again. More salt or vinegar can be added here. Black pepper can be added too but isn’t necessary.

8. For the leeks, cut into 4 lengths. Wash under the tap. Add to a pan of just boiling water and simmer for 10-15minutes until soft (use a small knife to test the centre of the leeks is soft)


9. Drain the leeks and let them sit for a couple of minutes before slicing in half lengthways.


10. Mix the leeks with the tomato vinaigrette or serve them on top. Add a couple of teaspoons of wholegrain mustard.


11, This can be served at room temperature or warm. Good with crusty bread.

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