When I first started the blog one of my main goals was to try new foods and document my experiences. Things like gelatin came easy in homemade marshmallows and beets in cupcakes and juice. The Brussels sprouts ruined testing of further vegetables. When I saw this recipe for spring vegetable wheat berry salad, it sounded fantastic. I bought radishes without even considering the fact that I may not like radishes! Conclusion? Radishes are quite tasty. They add crunch and color and freshness to the salad.
Clearly I eat a lot of quinoa; a good quinoa salad lasts me 4-6 lunches depending how big the batch. It's an easy lunch full of protein and vegetables. Plus, the chopping is relaxing and making lunch for the week is part of my routine. I tried to change things up with a different grain, but the grocery store didn't sell wheat berry, so I went my old standby.
This particular quinoa salad is one of the best I've made! I love that it is limited to a few months a year when asparagus is fresh. The vegetables are crisp and crunchy, the vinegar dressing is bright and tangy, and the nuts and dried add flavor and texture. I look forward to making this salad again while asparagus is still in season!
Two Years Ago - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad Adapted from Alexandra Cooks Yield - 5 servings
1 cup quinoa (I used a mix of white and multi-colored) 3 cups water 1 small yellow onion 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 cup raw cashews 1 bunch asparagus 1 bunch radishes 4 dates 1/4 cup olive oil kosher salt freshly cracked black pepper crushed red pepper flakes
- Add the quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and cook until all the water is absorbed, stir frequently.
- Slice the onion into thin slices and place in a small bowl with the vinegar. Toss to coat and set aside.
- Roughly chop the cashews and add them to a dry saute pan and toast. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Trim the asparagus and chop into 1 inch pieces. When almost all the water is absorbed in the quinoa, add the asparagus to cook for about 2 minutes.
- Use a mandolin to thinly slice the radishes and then cut into thin strips. Set aside.
- Dice the dates.
- When the quinoa and asparagus have cooked and all the water has absorbed, turn off the heat and immediately add the olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and check the seasoning. Adjust as needed.
- Toss in the cashews, onions with the vinegar, dates, and radishes. Again stir, taste, and adjust.
- Delicious warm or cold.