2 large carrots, peeled
1 fennel bulb
1/2 pound sweet potatoes
1/2 pound Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed
1/2 pound thick asparagus spears
8 baby leeks
4 - 6 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 slices day-old bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped parsley
3/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup walnut oil
1. First prepare the walnut sauce. Crumble the bread into a bowl, add 2 tbsp water, then squeeze dry. Put the bread into a food processor with the toasted walnuts, garlic, wine vinegar and parsley; blend until fairly smooth. Add the olive and walnut oils and process briefly to form a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a serving dish.
2. Prepare the vegetables. Cut the carrots into 1/2 inch slices; thinly slice the fennel lengthways; peel and thinly slice the sweet potatoes; thinly slice the Jerusalem artichokes. Trim the asparagus and leeks, but leave whole.
3. Baste the vegetables with olive oil and broil in batches under a medium-high heat, turning once, for 2 - 6 minutes each side until charred and tender (see note); keep warm in a low oven while grilling the rest.
4. Transfer all the grilled vegetables to a warmed serving platter and season with a little salt and pepper. Serve accompanied by the walnut sauce and plenty of warm crusty bread.
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The root vegetables take longest to cook through, while the asparagus and leeks only need a short time under the Broiler.