Embracing nature’s gifts…
Like the flowers that bloom in spring, leeks are at their best around this time of year, offering us their maximum in taste and vitamin consistency.
Marinated in lemon, garlic and oil, the courgettes and leeks give out their full potential and make a wonderful side dish for any kind of meal. However, it is so tasty and complete, with the walnuts and all, that if you simply accompany it with your favourite goat cheese and some lovely, multigrain bread, it becomes the perfect meal.
Grilled Courgettes and Leeks with Walnuts and Herbs
½ cup walnuts
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground
2 leeks; large, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise with some root attached
6 large courgettes (zucchini), halved lengthwise
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, fresh with tender stems
1. Preheat your oven’s grill to a medium-high heat.
2. Toast the walnuts in a dry — i.e. no butter or oil added — small pan over a medium heat, tossing often, until fragrant; about 5 minutes. Chop very coarsely. In a large bowl, toss the toasted and still warm walnuts with the garlic, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. For the vegetables: Brush the leeks and the courgettes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill in the oven, turning often, until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Transfer the vegetables to a cutting board. Cut into bite-size pieces. Add the vegetables and the parsley to the bowl that contains the walnuts and toss to combine; season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired
5. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 4 as side dish.