green garlic quinoa

I make a batch of quinoa a couple of times during the week to keep on hand for quick dinners, packable work lunches, even breakfasts. Light and nutty, gluten-free, and packed with protein, it’s been a pantry favorite for a while {I store it in a jar, which I replenish from the bulk bin section of my local natural foods store}.

Quinoa is among the quickest cooking in the whole grains category, so I can simmer up a pot in the morning for a fuss-free bring-to-work lunch.

With all this quinoa cooking in my kitchen, I’m always looking for new combinations to perk up the latest pot. This morning I added thinly sliced green garlic, a knob of butter, and grated lemon zest. Nutty, bright, buttery, and delicious. So good that I had some for breakfast, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with walnuts and gomasio. Another healthy portion became the foundation for a lunch bowl along with braised kale and mustard greens spiced with homemade curry powder, slices of hard-cooked egg, more walnuts and gomasio, a spritz of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Yes, it’s been a double quinoa kind of day.

Lately I’ve been snatching up green garlic whenever and wherever I see it. I became acquainted with it during the last couple of years, when I began shopping the farmers markets on a regular basis and encountering items that rarely see the inside of a supermarket. Green garlic is one. Harvested while the outer layers of the bulb and membranes encasing the individual cloves are tender and edible — unlike the tough and papery skins you see with mature garlic — you can slice right through the head and use the entire thing.

The cloves are crisp and juicy, packing a fresh garlicky flavor that’s gentler and less pungent than their aged counterparts. It’s delicious raw, especially in vinaigrettes, and I love to cook with it too — it turns mellow, subtle, and sweet. Like so many lovely spring things, its season is fleeting, so get it while you can!

green garlic quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed until the water runs clear and drained
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 green garlic bulbs, thinly sliced (or 1 clove of mature garlic, minced)
  • 1 tsp finely grated or minced lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a pot, cover, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.

Fluff quinoa with a fork to separate the grains.

12 thoughts on “green garlic quinoa

  1. Jessica – I could put walnuts on anything! keep meaning to get some walnut oil too, it would have been nice drizzled on this.

    Nancy – scapes just arrived this week, so exciting! I'm thinking pesto with my first batch.


  2. Love! I always enjoy clever new ways of preparing my quinoa. I actually have a batch of amaranth that I just made (first time ever! It looks like miniature quinoa) and it needs some life breathed into it.


  3. Hi Kimberley – I'll bet this would be great with amaranth! That's a grain I need to get into my rotation more often; I've prepared it as a porridge and I'm sure it would be tasty steamed as a side dish or salad, too.


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