Leeks with roasted shallots and balsamic vinegar

Serves 4

12 banana shallots

2tbsp olive oil

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

A sprig of lemon thyme

Sea salt and black pepper

12 small leeks

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7. Remove the outer skin of the shallots and slice in half lengthwise. Place in a roasting tray, toss with the oil, salt and pepper, drizzle over the balsamic, and scatter over the thyme.

Cover with foil and place on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for a further 20 minutes. The shallots should be a lovely golden-brown and caramelised.

While the shallots are cooking, remove the green leaves from the leeks and pat dry. Place in a saucepan large enough to hold them comfortably, season with a little salt and pepper and add enough water to cover.

Place over a medium heat and poach for five minutes; the leeks should be just tender to the bite. Strain and dress with a little olive oil.

Remove the shallots from the oven and leave to rest for five minutes, at which point, toss the leeks with the shallots and serve. I sometimes crumble delicate spring goat's cheese over the top .

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