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Charred Leeks And White Asparagus, Hazelnuts And Milk Skin

Charred Leeks And White Asparagus, Hazelnuts And Milk Skin

Charred leeks and white asparagus: discover this molecular gastronomy recipe by the famous London-based chef Nuno Mendes and try to make it at home!

01 April, 2012
Average: 2.1 (32 votes)

Type of dish


Dietary Consideration

Season & Occasion

serves for


total time

1 HR 0 MIN


4 each, large and soaked in water to remove the dirt
White asparagus
1 bunch
Maldon salt
To taste
1 sprig
Hazelnut oil
15 ml
Whole milk
2 l, fresh
200 ml
200 g, roasted, peeled
30 gr, salted
2, soft boiled
As needed, Carbonised
100 g, peeled, roasted
Grape seed oil
200 ml
Hazelnut oil
200 ml
Lemon juice
from 2 lemons
To taste
Black pepper
To taste
1 dash
Hazelnut oil
To taste
Red vein sorrel
To taste, picked
Maldon salt
To taste



Step 01

For Charred vegetables

  • Grill the leeks until they get quite dark on the outside and vacuum pack them so that they continue to steam and cook through.
  • Peel the outer layers until the centres are exposed and reserve the outer layers for the ash emulsion.
  • Cut the leeks into 5cm rounds and season with salt and hazelnut oil.
  • Peel the white asparagus and trim the tails, season with salt and rosemary and wrap them in aluminium foil.
  • Roast them in a pan over a low to medium heat until the asparagus is cooked through and begins to char a little bit and also steam at the same time.
  • Cut the asparagus into 7,5 cm pieces and reserve for plating.

Step 02

For Roasted hazelnuts

  • In a shallow non-stick pan melt the butter and gently roast the hazelnuts until they become nicely caramelized and golden brown.
  • Reserve for plating.
  • Milk skin
  • Empty the milk into a very wide, deep pot, turn the heat on the lowest setting possible and gently warm the milk up until a skin starts to form on the surface.
  • Once this skin has thickened slightly, detach it from the sides of the pan with a palette knife and gently lift it from the pan with the tips of your fingers to make sure it doesn't break.
  • Place it in between pieces of baking paper brushed with single cream.
  • Repeat this several times until the milk completely evaporates and the skins become too thick and yellow.
  • Reserve for plating.

Step 03

For Leek ash emulsion

  • With a hand blender, whisk all of the ingredients together except for the oils in a deep and narrow round container.
  • Slowly add the mixed oils until everything is smoothly emulsified into a black mayonnaise.
  • Adjust seasonings and reserve.

Step 04

To finish

  • Dot some of the leek ash emulsion around a shallow plate, scatter the warm leeks and asparagus around and cover with large pieces of milk skin.
  • Spoon some roasted cracked hazelnuts around the plate and sprinkle with red vein sorrel.
  • Season with Maldon salt and drizzle with hazelnut oil.
  • Serve warm.

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