Chargrilled leek, courgette and herb salad

This delicious salad really shows off young baby leeks, their sweetness combining beautifully with the smoky depth lent by char-grilling. Making leeks a centrepiece like this is quite unusual and is the perfect accompaniment to a Sunday Roast or elegant light lunch. 

Serves: 4

400g baby leeks
400g courgettes
Zest of ½ a lemon
12 basil leaves, shredded
Small handful parsley, chopped
20g pine nuts, toasted
½ tsp honey
½ tsp English mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A handful of rocket
Salt and pepper

Remove any tough outer leaves from the baby leeks. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the leeks for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain once again and pat dry with kitchen paper to remove any excess water.

Slice the courgettes into eight lengthways and remove the seeds with a sharp knife. Place in a large bowl with the leeks, drizzle with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Heat a char-grill pan until smoking and add the vegetables, in batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly charred and keep to one side. 

To make the dressing, whisk together the honey, mustard, olive oil and vinegar with a little salt and pepper. 

Pour the dressing over the char-grilled vegetables, adding the herbs, lemon zest and rocket. Toss together well. Taste to check the seasoning and tip onto a serving dish, sprinkling with pine nuts just before you serve the salad.

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