One of my favorite ingredients. I say this about a lot of things, but it’s true. Whenever you encounter an ingredient that is truly at its best it is a joy to work with and that shows in the final result. Young freshly harvested leeks are to be celebrated and the grilling season is the time to do it. Years ago I caught an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown where he and his crew captured the annual celebration of calçots in Barcelona. The festivities surround the grilling of Calçots, wrapping them in newspapers and banking them in coolers to seal in the heat and cook them through. Now a Calçots is actually a type of onion that doesn’t bulb, has a large white portion, and is mild and actually much like a leek. Once enough are ready then the wine comes out and otherwise unadorned leeks are celebrated with Romesco Sauce. The recipe linked is nice, if you tackle this blend everything but the oil together first then slowly add the olive oil until you get the consistency your after.
.In our house our approach is similar. I’ll wash and trim the leeks to fit my grill pan, lightly oil, and grill over indirect heat. I’ll often cook the rest of the meal atop the leeks as flavor components from parts above will flow with gravity to basically braise the alliums below. Photographed here is miso-glazed salmon, grilled leeks, with a very simple soup of leek tops seasoned with bay leaf and Tellicherry peppercorn.