This quinoa salad pairs our favorite hearty grain with some spring seasonal vegetables that you really need to put on your plate before the season's over! Purple asparagus, arguably the eye-catching 'star' of this dish, is a bit more tender than the green variety and gets its color from its highly concentrated and potent antioxidants. Feel free to enjoy it from tip to end, no stem-cutting required!
Purple Asparagus & Quinoa Salad
(From Choosing Raw)
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
For the quinoa salad -
1 pound purple asparagus, washed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 cups quinoa, rinsed under cold water in a fine sieve until the water runs clear
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed or steamed until bright green and tender
1 cup pea shoots, chopped in half
For the dressing -
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
1 teaspoon white wine or champagne vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced finely or crushed (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the asparagus pieces in the olive oil. Place them onto a parchment or foil lined baking sheet and sprinkle them with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until they're tender and a little crispy on the outside, stirring them halfway through. Set the roasted asparagus aside.
2) While the asparagus roasts, bring the quinoa and water to boil in a medium sized pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover the quinoa. Cook for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork and return the lid to the pot.
3) Allow the quinoa to rest for 10-15 minutes.Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Transfer the quinoa and asparagus to a large mixing bowl and add the peas. Add the dressing and toss the salad gently, so that all of the dressing is incorporated. Check the salad for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, and lemon as desired.
4) Divide the salad onto four plates. Top each with a quarter cup of chopped pea shoots, and serve.