Vegan Recipe: Acme Fire Cult’s Famous Coal Roast Leeks

By Ellie Smith

7 months ago

How to make the Dalston restaurant's cult dish

Vegan recipes don’t have to be boring – as proved by Acme Fire Cult, Dalston’s buzzy live fire restaurant, which excels in plant-based fare. The brainchild of chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins, the eatery focuses on grilling and fermenting, and it’s by no means veggie, but vegetables are given the same star treatment as meat and fish here. One of its most popular staple dishes is the coal roast leeks, which are drizzled in a deliciously moreish pistachio romesco sauce. Keen to try? Now you can give it a whirl at home, because we’ve got our hands on the recipe. It’s vegan too: perfect for Veganuary.

Vegan Recipe: Acme Fire Cult’s Famous Coal Roast Leeks

Serves 4


For the coal roast leeks

  • 4 large leeks

For the leek oil

  • 1kg leftover leek tops
  • 1kg pomace oil

For the pistachio romesco

  • 150g pistachio (plus extra for garnish)
  • 150g almonds 
  • 1 clove of garlic 
  • 300ml leek oil
  • Salt 
  • 8 green bell peppers 
  • Jalapeño vinegar or green Tabasco 
  • Iced water, if needed 

For the tofu whip:

  • 1 pack of silken tofu
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt 


To make the coal roast leeks:

  1. Cut the green tops off and reserve for the leek oil.
  2. Wash the leeks thoroughly and dry well
  3. Lay the leeks on hot coals and allow the outside to blacken evenly and the inside steams in its own juices. 
  4. Check the leeks occasionally, pressing gently to see if they feel soft. As soon as they do, remove from the coals. 

To make the leek oil:

  1. Wash well, slice the leek tops, shred and place in a Thermomix. 
  2. Cover with the oil, and set the Thermomix to 70 degrees for 7 minutes to speed 10.
  3. Pour into a bowl over an ice bath, and refrigerate overnight.
  4. The next day, pass through a sieve and season. 

To make the pistachio romesco:

  1. Roast the nuts slowly until evenly coloured set aside and allow to cool.
  2. Over the fire, char the peppers evenly until the skin blackens and  blisters, sit in a bowl with a lid allowing them to steam and loosens the skin.
  3. Deseed and remove the skin from the peppers. 
  4. In a Thermomix, place the peppers, toasted nuts and garlic and a little of the leek oil, blend until fine purée, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is well blended.
  5. Continue to blend on a lower setting adding the remaining leek oil.
  6. If the mix is a little thick, add the iced water to soften the texture.

To make the tofu whip:

  1. Blend all ingredients in Thermomix, until smooth and cream-like.
  2. Store in a squeezy bottle.

To finish:

  1. Using a piping bag or large spoon, spread the romesco into the centre of a bowl.
  2. Cut the room temperature leeks into barrels (roughly 3 inches in length) and place on top of the romesco, season and dress with leek oil. 
  3. Top with a spoonful of tofu whip and extra chopped roasted pistachios.