Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spring Green Quinoa Salad

After the Oatmeal Caramelitas I posted this weekend, I probably owe you an apology.  Oatmeal cookie bars stuffed with caramel and chocolate...

Since I've never been great at apologies, I just made you a salad instead.

Quinoa.  Asparagus.  Peas.  Feta.  Tossed with lemon vinaigrette.

So fresh.  So springy.

Am I the only one with a refrigerator drawer full of asparagus?  Don't get me wrong - I love it.  My dad and father-in-law grow copious amounts of awesome asparagus, and we eat it every day when it's in season (mid-April through May).

I love it.  And I really love receiving garden-fresh veggies from my family.  There's nothing like it.

Normally I just saute the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.  But sometimes I like to do something a little different with the asparagus...like this salad.

Start with quinoa...remember quinoa?  It's our friend.  It's a seed and insanely healthy (fiber, protein, among other qualities that earn it an A+ on the nutrition scale).  So I had black and red quinoa, but you could easily use white.  I think it might be more visually appealing with white quinoa?  But I used what I had.  It all cooks the same, so it really doesn't matter.

And saute some asparagus with an onion.  And toss it together with feta and lemon vinaigrette.

It's fresh, it's springy and it's healthy.

Can't beat it.  Make it fast...asparagus season is almost gone!

Spring Green Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Heather Cristo Cooks

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quinoa, rinsed (I used a combo of black and red quinoa, but you could use white)
1 bunch (about a pound) asparagus, sliced thin
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup frozen petite peas
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

2 T olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons, juiced)
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in the quinoa and cook over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.

In a separate skillet, saute the onion and asparagus in the tablespoon of olive oil until crisp-tender (about 7-8 minutes).

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, sauteed asparagus and onions, frozen peas (the heat from the quinoa and asparagus will thaw the peas) and the feta.  Whisk together the dressing and pour it on top.  Toss to combine and serve warm or chilled.  This is great with fish.

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