Creamy Sunchoke and Leek Salad

In the mood for a creamy salad that doesn’t have potatoes or macaroni in it? I was too! A salad that’s great with some grilled chicken and a green side salad; that’s a little different and a little fun. So I opened my fridge and did some experimenting. The internal conversation I had with myself while making this salad went a little like this:

“Hmm…okay…why not?”  (The initial sunchoke and leek combo)
“That could be interesting.” (Adding in the egg.)
“Oh no…I don’t know about this…” (The above combination)
“Eek, I think I just screwed up.” (Adding in the heart of palm)
“Maybe not.” (Adding in the pistachios.)
“Okay, I think we’re getting somewhere.” (Tossing in the beans.)

Finally ending at: “This is gonna be yummy!”(It’s hard to really ruin anything with mayonnaise isn’t it?) And it was! The hubby tested it and approved! He loved it and I hope you do too. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 pound sunchokes, peeled
  • 1&1/2 cup finely chopped leek
  • 1 hard boiled egg, minced
  • 1/3 cup small white beans
  • 1/3 cup minced heart of palm
  • 1 tablespoon raw pistachios, finely minced plus a little for garnish
  • a tablespoon finely minced parsley plus a leaf of two for garnish
  • 2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Toss in a wedge of lemon or lime with the sunchokes and cover them with cold water and bring them to a boil, lower the heat to low for about 15 minutes until they are fork tender. Drain them and rinse with cold water and chop them fine. With the leek, rinse well to remove any sand and chop them about the size of the sunchoke pieces, then rinse again. Bring some water to a boil and toss them in for about a minute or two, until the green part of the leek is tender. Then drain and rinse with cold water. Combine the sunchokes and leeks with the rest of the ingredients. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Garnish with the pistachios and the parsley. Serves about 3. Double the recipe for a bigger crowd.

Grilled Leeks & Beans with Coriander Aioli

Ahh…the first day of spring, although you wouldn’t know it looking out the window, with snow on the ground but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate with a light meal that is both rich and filling; grilled leeks alongside buttery beans. Pair this with boiled baby Yukon gold potatoes or brown rice and top with an extra creamy and a little spicy aioli to give it an extra special touch. Happy Spring! Enjoy!

For the leeks & beans:

  • 2 leeks
  • cooking spray
  • 1 15. oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 sun-dried tomato halves, in oil, minced
  • a few capers, drained and rinsed
  • sea salt

For the coriander aioli:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • sea salt
  • 1 oz. olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed and well chopped
  • generous pinch smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or more to taste

Bring some water to a boil and in the meantime, trim the leeks. Trim the green part and reserve for another use, like a soup or stew. Trim the root, leaving a little bit, keeping the leek together.

Slice down the center and once again lengthwise, cutting it into quarters. And give them a good rinse, removing any sand. Next, assemble them back like a puzzle and tie in place with kitchen twine. This is so the leek stays together and doesn’t fall apart as it cooks. Once your water comes to a boil, toss your leeks in and blanch for about 5 minutes. Your leeks are done once the bottom is fork tender. Drain, seperate and spray with oil and season with salt until ready to grill.

While your grill heats up, make your beans and the aioli.  Into a frying pan, melt the butter until it sizzles on low heat. Add in the tomatoes and a little sea salt and increase the heat to medium, until it’s bubbling and the liquids of the tomato evaporate, about 2-3 minutes. Toss in the beans and capers until heated through, giving it an occasional stir. Cover and keep warm. Next make your aioli, whisking together the eggs and sea salt, little by little whisk in the olive oil. Season with the paprika and Sriracha sauce for a little heat. Lastly, grill your leeks. I grilled them at about 400 degrees for only a few minutes per each side. But you can always leave them on longer for deeper grill marks. Assemble your dish and season with a little fresh cracked black pepper. Serves about 2.