Leek & Green Garlic Quinoa
This year, David and I put a ban on purchasing cookbooks because we have very little space in our Atlanta apartment and we already have so many. For the first few months, I strictly followed our self-imposed restriction, but I couldn’t resist purchasing Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors. I love cookbooks that tell me a story. As I flip through the pages of Madison’s Local Flavors, she takes me across the country to different farmers’ markets of all climates, shapes and sizes. From Santa Fe, to Atlanta, to Alaska, this beautiful book transports the reader to places and seasons that allow you to connect your own local produce with delicious recipes. The glossy pages in Local Flavors make the photos shine. You can see every crevice and twist in each green and every seed in a sliced tomato.
Local Flavors organizes its chapters by the type of food, as opposed to most cookbooks who separate by course. Some of the chapters include, “Small, tender fruits,” “Roots & Tubers,” and “Eggs & Cheese at the Market.” Doesn’t it sound amazing? Let me tell you, it is. If you love beautiful photos, stories and delicious recipes, you should add Local Flavors to your collection. It’s worth splurging on this beautiful treat.
When I go to The Local Farmstand, I look up any new produce that arrives in the index of Local Flavors to see what recipes Madison suggests. Recently a shipment of green garlic and leeks came from the farm and as I flipped to the index, I soon found a risotto recipe using both leeks and green garlic. Lovely. I followed the recipe strictly the first time I made this dish, but the next week I found myself craving quinoa. (In warmer weather, I tend to turn towards quinoa, while wanting risotto in the winter months.) So I tweaked the recipe a bit substituting quinoa for the risotto, but stuck with leeks and green garlic. This recipe can be a side dish or a main course.
Leek & Green Garlic Quinoa (adapted from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors)
- 4 medium leeks, white part only
- 3 large heads green garlic
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (if instructions on box say to)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups GF chicken or vegetable broth (plus extra if needed)
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Fresh lemon thyme (or other fresh herbs)
Wash leeks well. Make sure that you get the grit out from between each layer. (I cut slits in the bottom to get more water in between the layers for better cleaning.) Cut leeks in half, lengthwise, then crosswise, then into ¼ inch slices. Finely chop the bulbs/white parts of the green garlic.
Melt butter in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add leeks and garlic, stir to coat. Then add the wine and cook on medium-low heat until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a wide pot on medium heat. Add the quinoa and stir to coat. Cook on medium heat, while stirring for one minute. Add wine and let absorb, stirring occasionally. Add broth, ½ cup at a time and cook on medium, stirring as the liquid is absorbed. This should take about 15 minutes. Quinoa cooks much quicker than risotto which is a plus.
Once quinoa is cooked, transfer quinoa to pan with leeks and garlic. Turn to medium-low heat and add parmesan cheese. Stir and serve warm. Enjoy! I admit, it’s not the most colorful dish I’ve ever made. That’s why I like to serve it as a side to accompany a plate of bright and vibrant veggies, such as roast carrots and mixed greens.