Asparagus and Baby Leeks with Romesco Sauce and Pine Nuts

Asparagus and Baby Leeks with Romesco Sauce and Pine Nuts

Asparagus is delicious at the moment and more reasonably priced than any other time throughout the year. The soft sweetness of the asparagus goes brilliantly well with the smoky sharpness of the romesco sauce, and the toasted pine nuts and a welcome crunch. The asparagus can be served warm or room temperature, either way is delicious, but if you do want to serve this cold, remember to refresh the asparagus in cold water once it cooked, this will stop the cooking process and help keep their beautiful green colour. 

Serves: 6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes 


500g asparagus, remove the woody ends

500g baby leeks, washed

Handful pine nuts, toasted 

Basil leaves

Micro herbs

Olive oil 


Romesco Sauce

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

100g blanched almonds

4 large roasted red peppers, from a jar, drained 

4 sundried tomatoes

1 tsp smoked sweet paprika

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

6-8 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper



  1. Start by making the romesco sauce. Preheat oven to 170C/fan 150C and place the almonds onto a baking tray. Place in the oven for 15 minutes until the almonds are lightly golden. 
  2. Meanwhile, place the baby leeks and garlic on another baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and place into the oven for 20 minutes, until slightly coloured and soft. Prep the asparagus by removing the woody ends and place a pan of lightly salted water onto simmer. 
  3. Once the almonds have cooled and the garlic is softened a little, add all of the remaining romesco sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender, remember to take the slightly softened garlic out of its skin and add this, along with the toasted almonds to the food processor of blender. Blitz to a paste and taste for seasoning. Set aside. 
  4. Place the asparagus into simmering water and cook until al dente, this will only take a couple of minutes. Once cooked, drain and gently pat dry with some kitchen roll. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper and lay onto a board or plate to serve, dotting the roasted baby leeks inbetween the asparagus pieces. 
  5. Spoon over romesco sauce and garnish with baby basil leaves and toasted pine nuts.