Asparagus and Quinoa Salad
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS.
LET’S NOT HAVE SANTA SEE A DENTIST BEFORE HE GETS HIS JOB DONE.
Here’s the first one on the ‘nice’ list: Asparagus and Quinoa Salad! A little extreme? Well, there’s no lettuce involved in this salad. So, turn that frown upside down people!
This dish is a good side dish to bring to a friend’s Christmas get together. It holds its shape. It’s hearty, delicious and goes well with ham! (Ham – wait, is it too expected?) You will not feel guilty to bring this salad since every ingredient in it is not just healthy but awesome!
Quinoa, oh quinoa… Should I say more? Well, a lot of people mistake quinoa as a grain. No my friend, it’s not. It’s in fact the seed of a grain-like crop closely related to beets. What do you know, right? Well, I thought I should share this tidbit with you, just in case you’re thinking to make this dish. You should know what you put into your body right? Right. Be mindful as well, if your quinoa comes unwashed, that means you need to put in a little extra work: wash it! Use a fine mesh strainer to do that. Another good tip 🙂 You’re welcome.
Hey guys, I really don’t know where the year has gone. It flies so quickly! Ahead of us is a long list of gatherings, and… a pile of fat pants to wear to get us through the holidays. But hopefully, all the people who invite you to their gatherings would prepare this kind of meal. Then you shouldn’t worry about wearing your elastic pants & you can look like a million bucks! No puffiness nor bloating. Yay for salad! Not excited? Me neither.
I know salad really isn’t an exciting meal. You may have the biggest denial issue ever if you think and feel otherwise 🙂 However, this salad is great! You don’t even need to cover it up with any sprinkling of cheese. It’s good as is.
Have fun making it. Taste a lot. It’s the holiday season after all.
- 2 pounds fresh asparagus, 1 to 1½ inches cut off the bottom
- ½ cup organic quinoa
- 1 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
- ¼ cup champagne (or white) wine vinegar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon shallot, chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Blanch asparagus: by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the asparagus. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. Cook for about 2 minutes. When done, transfer asparagus to the ice water bath. Once cool to the touch, drain and set aside.
- Toast quinoa on a sauté pan over medium heat, until it begins to crackle (about 2 minutes.) Remove from the heat and transfer to a saucepan, adding broth and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 12-13 minutes. Remove from the heat and put the lid on and cover for 5-10 minutes. When liquid is absorbed (if there is some remains, drain completely using a fine mesh strainer.) Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside.
- Combine vinegar, lemon zest, garlic, shallot, salt and oil in a small bowl. Whisk until well mixed. Taste, add pepper if needed. Add thyme and walnuts.
- Slice asparagus into ¼" diameter rounds, transfer to a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa and vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.