Grilled Leeks With Brown Butter and Spiced Hazelnuts
The glory of these leeks is the contrast between their deeply charred exteriors and jammy, sweet interiors. Pay attention to the hot spots on your grill and move leeks around if they are charring more quickly in some places than others.
- 1 cup crushed blanched hazelnuts
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¼ cup plus 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1¼ tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. light or dark brown sugar
- 3 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more
- 3 garlic cloves
- 12 medium leeks or 8 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, roots trimmed, halved, quartered if large
- 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- Prepare a grill for medium-low heat. Cook hazelnuts, sesame seeds, butter, and ¼ cup oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring and swirling pan often, until nuts are a deep golden brown, 7–10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in paprika, brown sugar, 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Finely grate in garlic; stir to combine. Set aside.
- Place leeks in a medium bowl and toss with remaining 3 Tbsp. oil and 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt; season with pepper.
- Arrange leeks, cut side down, on grate. Cover and grill, undisturbed, until deeply charred underneath, 10–15 minutes. Using tongs, turn leeks over. Cover and grill until deeply charred on other side and very soft inside (cut through one to test), 10–13 minutes.
- Transfer leeks to a platter. Drizzle vinegar over; top with sauce and nuts.