Charred leeks and creamy labneh are the perfect foil to surprise pops of salmon roe and finger lime in this refreshing winter dish.
Makes enough for 4
– 6 medium leeks
– vegetable oil (enough to nearly submerge leeks)
– 1 handful of wood chips
– salt and pepper to taste
– 2 cups natural yogurt
– 2 tbsp leek confit oil
– salt and pepper to taste
– 4 tbsp salmon roe
– 2 tsp light soy sauce
– 1 tsp mirin
– 1 bunch chives
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– Seedless pulp of 6 finger limes
1. The night before: place the yogurt in a strainer over a bowl and cover with cling wrap, leave in the fridge overnight.
2. On the day: trim most of the green ends off the leeks, cut in half so you are left with 12 leek rounds, and wash thoroughly.
3. On a charcoal barbecue (like a Weber), char the leeks hard so the outer layer is nearly black. Chuck your wood chips onto the coals and let everything smoulder and smoke up. Let the leeks soak up the smoke for roughly 15 mins
4. Place your leeks in one layer into a metal roasting tray and fill with veg oil so that they are nearly covered. Cook gently, over your fire till tender. Watch that they don’t get too hot and start frying. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
5. Take the strained yogurt (labneh) and slowly whisk in the leek confit oil. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Mix the soy and mirin together and dress the salmon roe with it. Make sure not to crush any of the roe.
7. To make the chive oil, roughly chop the chives and warm in the veg oil till JUST starting to bubble. Blitz in a food processor till vibrant and green. Cool in fridge.
8. To serve: in a large mixing bowl, slightly mash leeks with the labneh, chive oil and a pinch of salt. Arrange roughly into four serving bowls and evenly spoon over the finger lime and salmon roe. Make sure to serve this with some crusty bread to soak up that oily, oniony goodness!
BOOZE PAIRING: 2017 UNICO ZELO RIVER SAND FIANO
Unfortunately, the Riverland still doesn’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to wine, but Laura and Brendan and their industrious ways at Unico Zelo are rapidly changing that. Every year they produce a pretty bloody delicious range of Fianos that are well worth a look. The River Sand is probably the sexiest with a slick texture and some seductive funk happening under all the silk of the front palate.
MUSIC PAIRING: BOOKER T & THE MGS’ GREEN ONIONS
Seeing as there’s leeks everywhere, it’s got to be Green Onions. If you’ve ever been in the same room as a Tarantino film, you’ll know it inside out. Boppy funk with a splash over of ultraviolence, it’s easy to hold a knife and dance to, so win-win.
Photography: Sia Duff