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Roasted baby leeks with thyme
A lovely late-spring to summer side
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“Baby leeks have a lovely sweet flavour and when roasted become beautifully caramelised ”
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. I like to serve 4 or 5 baby leeks per person, depending on their size. Lightly trim both ends and peel back the first or second layer of leaves and discard. Drop the leeks in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes to soften - this is called blanching. Drain them well (if there's too much water in them they won't roast properly) and toss in a bowl with a good lug of olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, the chopped thyme leaves and the garlic. Arrange the leeks in one layer in a baking tray or earthenware dish and roast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes until golden and almost caramelized. Keep your eye on them - I've seen many chefs burn baby leeks when cooking them this way and it drives me mad!