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Friday, October 17, 2014

Leek and Artichoke Quinoa Risotto

Sometimes these things just happen, and they satisfy you when you feel you cannot be comforted.  Thus is the emmersion of this quinoa risotto.
The unplanned event of all these different ingredients came together almost naturally, before I even realized what the final result would be.
That phenomenon has been happening regularly to me lately.  It's as if I'm in a zone where I'm not consciously making any decisions, but just going with the flow.  It's relaxing and surprising at the end as well.  I know I did it, but I don't know why or what was motivating me.
I don't experience moments like that very often in general.. usually only when I'm cooking.
Serves 4 as a side
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and squeezed
1 leek, sliced down the center, then sliced crosswise
handful torn kale (or spinach)
1 small diced red chili (mine was not strong at all)
2-3 Tbsp EVOO
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
lots of cracked black pepper
handful parmesan
chopped basil for garnish
1.  In a heavy based pot, heat half the olive oil, then add the artichoke hearts.  Cook for a few minutes, turning them around so they color evenly.
2.  Add half the garlic, cook for another 2 minutes, then reserve the hearts.
3.  In that same pot, add the rest of the olive oil and brown the leeks until tender while stirring continuously.  This can take about 5-10 minutes.
4.  Add the kale, chile, and rest of the garlic.  Cook until the kale is wilted.
5.  Add the quinoa, black pepper, and broth.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low until the liquid is absorbed.  The quinoa will become pearly and beautiful.
6.  Before serving, stir in the yogurt and parmesan.  This should make it nice and creamy.

Serve garnished with some chopped basil.
I served mine alongside some roasted chicken thighs.  The next day with an over-easy egg, and then another time with half an avocado.  This really pairs nicely with anything or can be eaten on its own as a meal because.. well, isn't risotto a meal?
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