MAR
26

Spring Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Healthy Eating, Lunch, Seasonal Recipes, Side Salads, Spring Recipes, Vegetarian | 5 comments

Spring is here, and that means asparagus! We can’t seem to get enough asparagus this year. I pick up a few bunches every time I go to the grocery store. As much as I love it simply roasted, I’ve discovered how much I love it thinly sliced and barely cooked. The asparagus maintains its beautiful bright green color  and delicious, sweet crunch, just like in this Spring Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette.

asparagus quinoa salad
Written by: Lindsey Johnson of Cafe Johnsonia

A great thing about this salad, besides being fresh and delicious, is that you can eat it warm, room temperature, or cold. It’s the perfect salad to pop into your lunch bag to take to work or when you’re out running errands and don’t want to hit up fast food for lunch. The different components can be made ahead and assembled at the last minute too, but the leftovers are great the next day too.

I used tarragon for the vinaigrette. It has a nice licorice flavor without being too overwhelming. Tarragon and mustard are a match made in heaven and the honey in the vinaigrette adds just enough sweetness to complement the asparagus. It’s one tasty, healthy salad!

asparagus quinoa salad for spring

How are you eating asparagus this spring?

More Ways to Enjoy Asparagus this Spring:

Asparagus Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Yield: 2-4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

A quick and easy salad made with fresh asparagus and quinoa tossed with a flavorful tarragon-mustard vinaigrette.

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Ingredients:

For vinaigrette:
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
white pepper
pinch garlic powder

For salad:
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 small shallot, halved and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds

Directions:

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients or place in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake. Set aside.
If quinoa is not pre-rinsed, wash well in a fine-mesh colander to remove the bitter outer coating. Drain well. Place quinoa in a 2-quart sauce pan. Add the water, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until water has been absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through. (It will become translucent when it's properly cooked.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for a few minutes.
In the meantime, trim off a few inches of the asparagus stems and discard. Thinly slice the asparagus into 1/8- to 1/6-inch rounds. Add the asparagus, shallot, and sliced almonds to the pan of quinoa. The remaining heat will barely cook the asparagus.
Pour some of the vinaigrette over the quinoa and asparagus. Toss to coat. Let stand for a few minutes so it can absorb the vinaigrette. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Add more vinaigrette to taste.

Notes:

You can substitute any whole grain for the quinoa. Couscous would also be delicious.
Leftovers will keep well for 1-2 days in the fridge.
To make ahead, prepare salad and vinaigrette and store separately. Add dressing right before serving.

MAR
26

Tips for Using Less Water When Cooking

Kitchen Tips & Tricks | no comments

Tips for Using Less Water When Cooking

Water is a pretty integral part of food preparation. I’m always looking for ways to make my kitchen more efficient and to use a little less water. Here are some great tips for water efficient food preparation. Tips for Using Less Water When Cooking Steam instead of boil, when possible. Steaming will retain more nutrients [...]

MAR
25

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Crock-Pot, Main Dish, Pasta, Poultry, Soup and Stew | 3 comments

slow cooker italian chicken and noodles

For some reason I always forget to use my slow cooker. I don’t know why, because every time I remember that it is an option and I actually use it I realize all over again what an amazing kitchen appliance it is. My latest reminder was in the form of this Slow Cooker Italian Chicken [...]

MAR
19

Roasted Broccoli

Side Dish, Vegetables | 2 comments

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MAR
18

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

Birthday Recipes, Cakes and Cupcakes, Chocolate, Dessert, Freezer Friendly, Kid Friendly Recipes | 1 comment

chocolate mint cupcakes

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MAR
12

Raspberry Curd

Preserving, Sauces | 7 comments

Good Life Eats - Raspberry Curd 006

Written by: Erica Kastner of Buttered Side Up I must admit that I didn’t think that this curd was going to be spectacular. With my first bite of a buttery English muffin spread with this lovely red curd, I was sold. The fat from the butter and egg yolks mellows out the sourness of the [...]