October 24, 2017

Everyday Gourmet (3/18/10)

Leek a secret

March 18, 2010

By Kim Dannies

Recently I attended a writers’ conference at The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (kripalu.org). Think holistic hotel, or yoga camp for over-grown kids, and you have the idea: Heaven for some, hell for others.

Little Miss Rib-Eye, I was somewhat anxious about getting enough protein in this wholesome environment. But after my first meal I was so dazzled by the flavors and the beauty of the food that I didn’t want my vegetarian stint to end.

While it’s never a bad thing to have others cook for you, reality hits especially hard on a Monday morning trip to the grocery store — what could I buy to recapture some of the magic of the Kripalu weekend? Because I was cooking a meatless dish, I was inspired to buy leeks (which usually I think are a bit too expensive). Leeks are the secret elite of the onion family, and because they add so much horsepower to a dish I felt the cost would justify my pursuit for perfection. I shopped for freshness, color and low-fat flavor and the resulting recipe is truly a Kripalu-worthy dish.

Pignoli and Leek Linguine

Prep: Discard the dark green top and bottom tip of 3 leeks. Slice the white and light green parts into thin disks; rinse well in a salad spinner. Toast 1 ounce of Pignoli (pine) nuts. Slice a small head of radicchio into thin ribbons, yielding 3 cups. De-stem 6 asparagus spears and cut vegetable into 1-inch pieces. Mince 2 garlic cloves. Measure out 1 cup of white wine; 1/3 cup lemon juice; 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese.

Gremolata: In a small processor combine 1 garlic clove, a large handful of clean Italian parsley leaves and the zest of a small orange. Pulse to a rough chop.

Cook 6 ounces of whole-wheat linguine in boiling water for 10 minutes. Before draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick pan and sauté leeks on high heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes more. Lower heat; deglaze with a splash of wine. Add asparagus, wine, lemon juice and cooking water. Simmer for 1 minute, season with kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste. Stir in the pasta and half of the Parmesan cheese; turn off the heat and cover. Line 2 pasta bowls with 1 cup each of the radicchio. Portion out the pasta. Top with generous pinches of gremolata, Pignoli nuts, Parmesan and the remaining radicchio. Serves 2.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.



  1. intervalefoodhub.com.Thanks for mentioning the Intervale Food Hub, Jake!

    The Intervale Food Hub partners with The EDGE Sports & Fitness in Williston and Essex to deliver local food subscriptions year-round.

    We are just about to start deliveries to The EDGE for our upcoming Fall/Winter season. If anyone is interested in participating, you can learn more at http://www.intervalefoodhub.com.

    Kendall Frost
    Intervale Food Hub Marketing Manager

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