Ribboned Asparagus and Quinoa Salad
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 1
- Category: Salad
- 3/4 to 1 cup cooked quinoa (see step 1 below)
- 6 to 7 stalks of asparagus (almost a handful)
- 1 small lemon
- olive oil (the good stuff), to taste
- Sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 to 2 ounces Parmesan, shaved
- Cook the quinoa (I like to make extra for more salads and for breakfast, 1 cup of dry quinoa yields over 3 cups cooked quinoa). Combine rinsed quinoa with twice as much water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- Shave the asparagus with a vegetable peeler. To do so, hold the touch end of the asparagus against a cutting board, and peel from the tough end toward the tip. (See tips above)
- Toast the pine nuts. I prefer to do this in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often, but you may get more even results by baking at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes (stirring often). I use the skillet method because I tend to get distracted and forget about them in the oven! You want the pine nuts well toasted, meaning golden but not burnt.
- Zest the lemon (if desired) and slice it in half.
- In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa and shaved asparagus. Squeeze in most of the juice of half a lemon (add more to taste later) and a good drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground black pepper and toss to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Use your vegetable peeler to shave Parmesan directly onto the salad. Don’t skimp on the cheese! Top with lemon zest. If necessary, add more lemon juice, olive oil, or salt and pepper to taste.