This quinoa pilaf makes a great side dish for 8, and can double as a main dish for 6. For a delicious variation on this recipe, try using asparagus instead of artichokes (but steam it separately and add it to the quinoa just before serving). You can also use more ramps than I’ve called for here….it depends on how much of a fan you are of each ingredient.
Quinoa Pilaf with Ramps, Artichokes, and Peas [Vegan]
- 1 bunch ramps (about 15-20)
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, halved
- 10 baby artichokes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
- 2 cups quinoa, well rinsed (unless you use a pre-rinsed variety)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
- 3 1/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup fresh shelled or frozen peas
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cut the green ramp leaves off the stems, and chop the stems. Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop in the ramp leaves and blanch for about one minute. Drain and puree in a food processor with the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil. Set aside until needed.
- Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a large bowl of cold water, and throw the squeezed lemon halves into the water, too.
- Peel away the tough outer leaves of the baby artichokes, until just the more tender light green leaves are left. Cut off the top 1/2 inch from the artichoke and trim the stem of any tough-looking parts. Quarter the artichokes and put them in the lemon water while you start the risotto.
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy saucepan. Drain the artichokes from the lemon water and sauté them for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped ramp stems and cook 5 minutes more. Add the quinoa and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the wine and fresh thyme, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.
- Add the broth; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the peas and simmer another 4-6 minutes, stirring often. (The quinoa should be almost soft but still have a bit of a crunch. You should see a little white ring separating from each grain.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in ramp puree and serve.