An easy shaved asparagus salad turns into a complete meal with the addition of quinoa. It’s bursting with flavor thanks to lemon, pine nuts and parmesan!
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.
Here’s a tip: when you’re storing asparagus in the fridge, store them upright in an inch or two of water! That’s a little trick I picked up from the Native Roots Market facebook page, and my asparagus has stayed super fresh for days that way.
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