Anyway, I had a request for something that wasn't a treat and possibly involved quinoa (I know, we've been a little too into desserts lately). And trust me when I say that this is the perfect dish for a sunny spring day. It has leeks, peas, and asparagus, all vegetables that are in season right now. As much as I really really love squash and sweet potatoes, I've been craving these light and fresh ones the warmer the weather has gotten. I think my body knows we're at the start of another growing season. And that is VERY exciting indeed.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetite April 2011
Pictures by Kelly
Makes about 4 servings as a side; 2 as a main dish
3/4 cups quinoa, well rinsed
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed and divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, divided
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon butter
1 large leek (white and pale parts only), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced*
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1 small bunch asparagus (about 8 oz), trimmed, cut diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- Bring 3/4 cups water to boil in small saucepan. Add quinoa and 1 teaspoon salt; return to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed, 15 to 17 minutes. Drain if necessary.
- Puree broth, 1/2 cup peas, 2 tablespoons mint, and garlic in blender until smooth.
- Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leek and onions; sauté until soft and light brown, about 4 minutes. Stir asparagus; sauté until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in puree and 1/2 cup reserved peas; stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add quinoa; stir to coat.
- Divide quinoa among bowls; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon mint and serve. Top with parmesan cheese, if desired.
*Ok, if you're afraid of leeks or you don't want to buy them or forgot them at the store, or whatever, you don't HAVE to have them. Simply use 1 medium onion instead of part leek and 1/3 cup onion. But you're missing out on some tastiness without it.