Tag Archive: Leeks

  1. Spring on a Plate

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    It’s 3pm and raining now. I feel like Hayden’s here in the room. It’s been long time. Maybe it hasn’t. Maybe I just haven’t been present to it. If I’m honest, staying present has been difficult lately. The season has turned over so fast, it’s like I woke up this morning and the trees are just now suddenly green, tulips are blistering at their ends, and the garden has creeped back to life. Before you left, you pointed out the one tree in the back alley that is holding out. It’s naked and just barely budding while her sisters are already flanked and beaming. In my mind, I’ll pretend it has been waiting for me to stop spinning, settle my mind, and catch up to the miracle that is this season. I hate when you’re gone but I loved how quiet things were today. I’ve needed it, desperately.

    When I am silent, I have thunder hidden inside. – Rumi

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    Spring On a Plate

    This recipe is for my mom whose beauty is matched only by her grace, passion, and strength. I am nothing without your love. Happy Mother’s Day. You are my sun and moon and all of my stars.

    • ½  lb fresh green garbanzo beans
    • ½ lb green asparagus
    • 3 stalks rhubarb
    • 2 yellow potatoes
    • ¼ lb ramps (baby leeks)
    • Handful watercress
    • (optional) heel of stale bread, ¼ cup breadcrumbs
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 16 oz unsweetened greek yogurt
    • ½ cup dill, minced
    • ½ cup mint, minced
    • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
    • 3 lemons, juiced
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • (optional) 7-minute egg

     

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    Preparation:

    Bring a small pot of water to boil. Shell the garbanzo beans and blanche in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Preheat oven for 350.’ Cut potato into small wedges and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and send them to a hot oven to roast for 20 minutes. Remove tough ends of asparagus, thoroughly yet delicately clean and remove roots from ramps, and cut stalks of rhubarb in half and then slice length wise into 3 smaller strips. Place in the basin of stone or glass baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt/pepper. Place on the available rack in the oven and bake for the remaining time on the potatoes (+/- 10 minutes).

    In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, and lemon with the minced fresh herbs. Pour herb-y yogurt onto a large serving platter. Spread with a spatula to create a yogurt bed. Arrange vegetables on top of the yogurt to your liking. Garnish with watercress, blanched garbanzo beans, a sprinkle of bread crumbs, and a halved medium-boil egg.

    Enjoy immediately with warm flatbread or alongside a nice lentil salad.

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  2. Spicy Potato Tarragon Soup

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    “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

    —    Anais Nin

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    Spicy Potato Tarragon Soup 

    It’s still winter here in Colorado, although spring is introducing itself in fits and starts. I’m considering this my last homage to the hearty, sustaining bowls of warmth that have characterized this amazing season of snow and festivity. Savor the crumbs of cold that are left for us, folks. Everyone seems to want to be in the season that’s in front of them instead of celebrating the one that’s here, now. It will be time for tulips, asparagus, and rhubarb soon enough.

    • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
    • 2 leeks, sliced
    • 1 bulb fennel, sliced
    • 1 yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 8 small red potatoes
    • 1 fuji apple, sliced
    • 12 small yellow fingerlings
    • 6 oz. Irish Red Ale
    • 6-8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • Freshly ground pepper to taste
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • Juice of two large lemons
    • ———
    • 1/4 cup minced tarragon
    • Sriracha or other preferred hot sauce
    • Crisp cooked bacon (optional)

     

    Melt butter in a 8-quart stockpot. Add onion, leek, garlic, and fennel; cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are just softening. Add potatoes (skins on) and stir together to create some browning at the bottom of the pot and the potatoes. Deglaze the browning bits after 10 minutes with the ale. Lower heat, add stock, salt, and pepper and simmer for 45 minutes.

    When the potatoes are completely softened and separating from their skin, add the heavy cream then transfer batches to the blender and blend on low so that the soup is just combined but still a bit chunky. Transfer to a staging bowl and repeat until all the soup is blended but still has texture.

    Stir in lemon juice, fresh chopped tarragon, hot sauce to your liking, and add bacon (optional). Taste for salt and pepper.

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  3. Leek + Pear + Chanterelle Toasts

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    I love rituals. When the week gets crazy, I can count on a few constants to keep my feet on the ground: exercise, packing a lunch, a phone call home, a big hug from Shaun when I walk in the door. Sunday rituals are the most important. For me, rituals are more than routine or repeated habits, they can be activities that help define our values and reestablish a connection to self, loved ones, and the planet at large.

    When we started fostering rescue dogs back in June, we began dedicating Sunday mornings to a long walk from our house down to the harbor. It helped socialize the dogs, but looking back I think it helped us more than our animal friends. On the way I’d pick up a coffee, Shaun would get apple juice and a croissant (or two) at the local café near our house. By the time we reached the water, my coffee was the perfect temperature and the dogs were ready for a rest. We’d sit on the benches in the shade and watch the banana barges from Central America unload shipping crates onto naked big-rig trailers on the dock. Shaun let me express my abhorrence for the free-trade agreements and cheap labor that brought the bananas here in the first place, but we both knew I needed the barges to be faithful on Sundays. Walking to see them was an oddly cathartic process. There was no past, no future. Just the dogs, the coffee, and the bananas.

    It’s been almost a month since we’ve had a quiet Sunday morning to walk to the harbor and I’ve found myself searching for something constant that can replace or substitute for those few certain, perfect, hours. Time slips like sand through my fingers, as of late. This weekend we traveled north to visit my parents where Shaun filmed a bit for my mom’s nonprofit, Wellness Within. Chilly walks, Jon Stewart re-runs, thoughtful conversation, and waking up in my old bedroom to the sound of rain falling on the skylight was ritual enough to keep me in step for a while.

    After a day in transit, no one really wants to work that hard in the kitchen. These simple, luscious toasts are the “welcome back” we needed today. As much as I love kale, it really can’t say “I love you” like these can. (wink).

    Leek, Pear, and Chanterelle Toasts

    • 4-6 thick slices country levain bread
    • 4-5 cups sliced leeks (whites + just a touch of green)
    • 1 comice pear, diced with skins on
    • 1 small cipollini onion, minced
    • 4-5 tbsp (good) olive oil
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • salt + pepper to taste
    • goat cheese to spread
    Turn on this playlist. Bring a saucepan pan with a few lugs of olive oil to  medium heat and add leeks, stirring to coat and wilt for 3-5 minutes. Add finely diced pears, stir in the white wine, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to very low. In a second, smaller pan, mix finely sliced chanterelles and the cipollini with another lug of olive oil. Put on heat, and let simmer and reduce for 5-10 minutes. Slice bread, and throw under the broiler of your oven for just a few minutes until the edges crisp up.
    Smear some goat cheese on the toasts, then pile with the leek mixture, then top with chanterelles and juices. Don’t take yourself so seriously, eat with your hands and let it get messy on the plate. Enjoy.

Let's get in Touch

I wish I could make coffee dates with you all. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say Hi. I like that. There is nothing more uplifting than an email from a a fresh contact or kindred spirit.

I can be reached through this contact form and at happyolks [at] gmail [dot] com.