Leeks Rolled in Coals, Buttermilk & Oyster Verde
AQ Restaurant & Bar, San Francisco, Mark Liberman - May 2014
For 4 servings
- 3 Tbsps. (50g) salt
- 4 leeks
Heat a grill to high, using oak or almond wood to create a bed of coals.
Mix salt and 4 1/4 cups water in large hotel pan; add leeks; cover with plastic wrap; let stand 2 hours.
Remove leeks from brine; pat dry; place leeks over coals; cook until leeks are softened and charred on the outside (about 30 minutes, depending on size of leeks); remove leeks from coals; place in clean hotel pan; cover tightly with plastic wrap (you want leeks to steam as they cool).
When cool, remove outer layer of ash from leeks; reserve ash; reserve leeks.
- 1 cup (235ml) buttermilk
- 1 tsp. (5ml) lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. (.72g) salt
Blend ingredients with 2 oz. (57g) leek ash until smooth; season; cover in airtight container; reserve in refrigerator.
- 12 Kusshi oysters, shucked
- 1/4 cup (59ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 Tbsps. (45ml) lemon juice
- 2 Tbsps. (8g) chervil, chopped
- 2 Tbsps. (8g) parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsps. (8g) tarragon, chopped
- 2 Tbsps. (7g) dill, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. (9g) salted capers, rinsed and chopped
- 1 tsp. (5ml) Sherry vinegar
- flaky sea salt
Heat wood-filled smoker until hot.
Smoke oysters in their liquor 15 minutes; remove oysters from smoker.
Halve each oyster; place in large bowl; add 1/4 cup (59ml) oil, juice, herbs, capers, and vinegar; toss to coat; season; reserve smoked oyster verde in refrigerator.
Heat a grill to high.
Place reserved leeks in a bowl; drizzle with oil; season; grill until leeks are charred and crisp; remove from grill; place on a plate; reserve (keep warm).
To serve, drizzle buttermilk sauce onto warm serving plates; cut leeks into halves lengthwise, then into thirds; divide among plates; top with smoked oyster verde; sprinkle with sea salt.
What to drink: Hans Wirsching Silvaner Trocken 2012