Leek Cakes with Heirloom Tomatoes
1 large or 2 medium leeks, cut into ½” pieces
1 bunch of scallions
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
3 heirloom tomatoes
1 small bundle chives, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup fine cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup almond milk, or any other milk alternative
½ tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
1 egg white
Cut your leeks into ½” pieces and toss in a sieve or colander to rinse thoroughly. Make sure you remove all the dirt from the inside layers of the leek. Chop your scallions as well. In a medium pan set on medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and then your leeks. Sauté until reduced by half and caramelized, add ½ tsp of salt and then add your scallions. Continue to cook for 3 more minutes and turn off the heat. Fold in 1 tbsp of fresh tarragon and set aside to cook.
In a medium bowl, mix your cornmeal, ½ tsp salt, baking powder, almond milk, and 1 tbsp olive oil until fully incorporated. If your batter appears to be too runny, add more cornmeal. It should be smooth but firm.
In a separate small bowl, whisk your egg white until it reaches fully whipped soft peaks. Fold that into your cooled leeks. This frothy egg will help add some fluffier texture to your cakes.
Finally, add your leek and egg mixture to your cornmeal batter and mix just until combined. Place a large pan over medium high heat and lightly coat with olive oil. Spoon ⅓ cup of the batter onto pan, arranging so 4 to 6 can cook at the same time. Allow to cook about 3 minutes on each side, depending on the heat of your pan. You want them golden and then flip, reach golden brown on the other side and remove them from the pan.
Tarragon Chive Sauce
In a small bowl, combine 1 bunch of very finely chopped chives, 1 tbsp tarragon, 2 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Whisk, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To serve, line the cakes on a plate and top with heirloom tomato slice. Drizzle with tarragon chive oil and flaky sea salt to finish.
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