Roasted Leek Manchego Pesto

 The combination of roasted leek and manchego cheese is outright delicious!


Robby and I have been watching a lot of Jacques Pepin lately and he uses a lot of leek in his dishes.  He has inspired me to use them more frequently.  Roasting them gives them such a depth of flavor and works brilliant with manchego.


I like this pesto with a Spanish wine like a Rueda, Albariño, white Rioja, red Rioja, Tempranillo or a Garnacha.

Roasted-Leek-and-Manchego-Pesto Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 Cups Leek (1 Large)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Manchego Cheese – finely shredded
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (and some for drizzling)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste (start with a 1/4 teaspoon due to the sprinkling on the leeks, taste and see if it needs more)


Pre-heat oven to 400 degree

Start by washing the leek really well.  There is always dirt on the inside.  Watch this how to video if you have never cooked with leek before.  Cut the roots off, cut in half length wise and cut the halves in half length wise.

Spread the leeks on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast on the top rack for about 15 minutes or until edges start to brown a bit, measure and add to a food processor.

Juice the lemon with a hand held juicer, measure along with the cheese, walnuts, olive oil, paprika and salt and add to food processor along with the garlic cloves and puree.  Scrape down the sides at least once.

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