Spring on a Plate: Crème brûlée of leeks, asparagus, hops, herbs and flowers

A colorful and tasty spring recipe the is vegetarian with delicate and inviting flavors in an elegant presentation: Crème brûlée of leeks, asparagus, hops, herbs and flowers was created by the Michelin star chef Antonio Ziantoni of Zia Restaurant in Rome – a location designed by New York architect Anton Cristell with an atmosphere that is elegant and understated. Bringing together his passion and years spent honing his craft around the world – including work with Georges Blanc in France and Gordon Ramsey in London – Ziantoni focuses on flavors that bring out the quality of the products he uses.


For the leek cream

Leeks: 100 g
Vegetable stock: 100 g
Oil: to taste
Garlic: to taste
Thyme: to taste
Pepper: to taste
Salt: to taste

For the crème brûlée

Cream of leek: 50 g
Liquid cream: 250 g
Milk: 75 g
Sugar: 40 g
Salt: 3 g
Egg yolks: 4
Pepper: to taste
Vanilla bean: to taste
Brown sugar: to taste

For the wild herb salad

Wild asparagus: to taste
Hops: to taste
Watercress: to taste
Mugwort: to taste
Borage: to taste
Geranium: to taste
Chickory: to taste
Burdock: to taste


For the leek cream

Coarsely chop the leeks, fry some oil, a clove of garlic and thyme. Add the leeks and deglaze with vegetable stock or water. Cook for 30 minutes and then blend with a blender.

For the crème brûlée

Pour the milk and cream into a small saucepan. Add the vanilla bean and seeds. Then bring gently to a boil. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a bowl along with the sugar and leek cream. Mix with a whisk.

When the milk and cream mixture has come to a boil, remove the vanilla and pour a little at a time into the bowl with the leeks, stirring continuously to obtain a smooth mixture.

For cooking

Pour the mixture into a cocotte and place it in a baking dish with water to create a bain-marie. Bake at 100 degrees for 60 minutes.


Let cool, cut with a pastry cup, sprinkle with brown sugar and burn with a blowtorch. Lay on a plate and sprinkle with the wild herbs and spring flowers.

Zia Restaurant

Spring on a Plate: Crème brûlée of leeks, asparagus, hops, herbs and flowers

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