Grilled Carrots & Leeks with Black Bean Purée

I always have a fun time deciding what to make for side dishes and my favorite book for inspiration is the Vedge cookbook from the Vedge Restaurant in Philadelphia. On page 49 there is a recipe for “spiced little carrots with chickpea-sauerkraut purée.” Boom!

That was all I needed. The title was enough, all I needed was the spark. I had carrots, but no sauerkraut or chickpeas. What I did have was carrots, leeks, red onion, garlic, black beans, and some AMAZING Spanish olive oil called Veritat oli d’oliva. (Side note: I was given this bottle of Veritat by my boss and it’s fantastic. It is an Arbequina Olive Oil direct from the Priorat region of Spain. If you’re an olive oil fan like myself, I highly recommend getting a bottle and trying it out.)

So I went on to create my very own black bean purée to pair with grilled carrots and leeks. Enjoy!



Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 12 small carrots
  • 1 bunch of leeks
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 c chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (Ali makes a great veggie/chicken stock – recipe coming soon)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions: Carrots + Leeks

  1. Prep the leeks by cutting off the dark green tops and roots (Tip: You can keep the tops and use for making homemade stock). Slice them down the center to wash._DSC6329.jpeg
  2. Next, wash the carrots and leeks. (The leeks should be really well washed. It is best to leave them sitting in cold water for 10 minutes, agitating them every couple of minutes to help get the dirt out.)
  3. Dry off the vegetables and put them on separate pans. Coat both the leeks and carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper._DSC6328.jpeg
  4. Place the carrots and leeks on the grill over medium-high heat.
  5. Carrots should be rotated on all sides and take about 10 min to cook through. (I like them to keep a crunch)_DSC6434.jpeg
  6. The leeks are grilled for about 3 min per side.


Directions: Black Bean Purée

  1. Thinly chop half a red onion and mince the garlic cloves._DSC6332.jpeg
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, and coat with olive oil. Combine onion, garlic, thyme, pepper, and salt to taste. Cook about 3 min. _DSC6362.jpeg
  3. While they are cooking, rinse and drain the can of black beans._DSC6363.jpeg
  4. When the onion, garlic has been cooked add the black beans and sauté until the beans start to fall apart.  _DSC6365.jpeg
  5. Next, add the 1/4 chicken broth and cover. Allow it to simmer until broth is mostly absorbed and then add another 1/4 cup of broth until it has been mostly absorbed – approximately 20 min.
  6. While the beans are cooking in the broth, grate your lemon rind on a cheese grater (this is optional but great for presentation)._DSC6403.jpeg
  7. Move the black bean mixture to an immersion blender or blender, puree to desired consistency._DSC6398.jpeg
  8. Next stir in lemon juice and a tsp more of olive oil.
  9. Sprinkle with peel and serve.

The final masterpiece:


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