Baby leeks with truffle butter sauce and a garlic and herb crumb

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Russell Brown’s stunning vegetarian starter recipe is simple to prepare but, thanks to a few sophisticated techniques and ingredients, will taste like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen. Cooking the leeks sous vide results in a wonderful, tender texture which contrasts perfectly with the crisp crunch of the garlic crumb, with the creamy truffle sauce adding an extra touch of luxury. If possible, prepare the vegetable stock a day in advance to give it plenty of time to infuse.

First published in 2015




Baby leeks

Vegetable stock

Truffle butter sauce

Garlic and herb crumb


  • Chamber sealer
  • Water bath


Begin by preparing the stock. Slice and wash the vegetables and place them in a large pan. Add the parsley, fennel seeds and anise to the pan and pour over enough water to just cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes place. Store the stock with vegetables left in for several hours or ideally overnight
Preheat a water bath to 85℃
Arrange the baby leeks in a vacuum bag so they lie in a single layer, using multiple bags if necessary. Add the butter and salt to the bags, ensuring there is even dispersal between the leeks. Seal the bags and cook in the water bath for 35 minutes
Meanwhile, fry the breadcrumbs in the olive oil until just starting to brown, then add the garlic and cook for a minute longer. Remove the crust from the heat and stir in the parsley, then season to taste and tip onto kitchen paper to drain
To make a reduction for the truffle sauce, combine the alcohols in a medium pan and reduce to approximately 75ml. Pass the vegetable stock through a fine sieve and add 750 ml to the pan, continuing to heat until the liquid has reduced by a further two thirds
  • 100ml of Noilly Prat
  • 250ml of white wine
For the truffle butter sauce, transfer one tablespoon per person of the reduction into a small saucepan and gently warm. Whisk in the unsalted butter and finish with the fresh grated truffle or black truffle paste, if preferred
To serve, remove and drain the baby leeks and divide them evenly between six warm plates. Spoon over the truffle sauce and finish with the garlic and herb crumb
First published in 2015

Russell Brown has achieved Michelin stardom on his own terms, impressing inspectors with his honest, unfussy creations and sound approach to restaurant management.

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