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A simple recipe for Quinoa Asparagus Salad (aka Spring Tabouli) tossed with English peas, fresh dill, parsley, and toasted almonds in a lemony dressing topped with optional avocado, goat or feta cheese. A healthy, flavorful salad that can be made ahead- perfect for special gatherings or midweek lunches! GF & Vegan adaptable!
And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. ~John Muir
Here’s a simple spring-inspired salad to celebrate the coming of spring. It’s designed to be flexible- in that you can use almost any seasonal veggie you have – even it’s just as simple as greens and radishes! The dressing is simple- olive oil and lemon, like you would dress tabouli. So in my mind, this has come to be Spring Tabouli.
Here I’ve taken liberties and used quinoa instead of bulgar wheat, spring asparagus, fresh English peas (or edamame), sliced almonds, dill, parsley, scallions, crumbled goat cheese and beautiful little sunflower sprouts. Simple and tasty!
What you’ll need
- Quinoa (dry)
- Asparagus- or snow peas, cucumber or green beans
- Fresh peas- shelled edamame, radishes, cucumber, snow peas or even spring greens.
- Dill- or sub-mint.
- Italian Parsley
- Slivered almonds, toasted ( optional, or sub other nut or seed)
- olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Optional garnishes- crumbled goat cheese or feta, sliced avocado, sunflower sprouts or pea shoots, flower petals- chive blossoms are nice.
How to make Spring Tabouli
Cook the quinoa, then cool it down. Simply toss with the rest of the ingredients. Dress to taste, adding lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.
What to serve with Spring Tabouli
On the homefront. We spent a night camping in Hope, Idaho, on Lake Pend Oreille this week. Brian just looked at the clear skies and said, let’s go, and so we did.The campground next to the lake was practically empty. We set up camp, walked down to the shore, and watched the water become as still as glass, while the sun slowly dipped behind the snow-dusted mountains.
And just like every other sunset I’ve ever watched, this one was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. We made a simple dinner, veggies and tofu, which, when the camp host came by and asked what was for dinner, he couldn’t begin to fathom – what? Tofu?? No meat? We got a good chuckle!
We made a fire, listened to its beautiful crackle, and watched the trees overhead sway in the night sky, cradling the glowing half-moon. I could feel the world turning.
No cell service, no Netflix, nothing to dilute or distract from the brilliant presence of nature. In the morning, we kayaked the calm, quiet water, exploring its rocky shores until complete exhaustion, then packed up and came home. A 24-hour camping trip. It’s a new thing we’ve been doing lately. A little sabbatical for the mind… I highly recommend it!
Have a glorious holiday weekend, and if you try this Quinoa Asparagus Salad (Spring Tabouli) let us know what you think below!
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A simple recipe for Quinoa Asparagus Salad ( aka Spring Tabouli) tossed with English peas, fresh dill, parsley, toasted almonds in a lemony dressing topped with optional avocado, goat or feta cheese. A healthy, flavorful salad that can be made ahead- perfect for special gatherings or midweek lunches! GF & Vegan adaptable!
- 1 cup dry quinoa ( or sub 2 1/2 cups cooked grains- farro, bulgur, etc)
- 1 1/2 cup water
- Pinch salt
- 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups shelled fresh English peas ( available at Trader Joes) or substitute shelled edamame, radishes, cucumber, snow peas or even spring greens.
- 3 scallions – thinly sliced at a diagonal
- 1/2 cup fresh dill ( 2 x .5 ounces packages) chopped ( or sub-mint)
- 1 cup Italian parsley, more to taste.
- 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted ( optional, or sub other nut or seed)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice ( 1-2 lemons)
- 1/2–1 teaspoon kosher salt
- pepper to taste
Optional garnishes- crumbled goat cheese or feta, sliced avocado, sunflower sprouts or pea shoots, flower petals- chive blossoms are nice.
- Rinse the quinoa and place it in a pot with the water and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat, and allow it to simmer on low heat for 12-15 minutes. Turn off heat, and let sit covered for 5 -10 minutes, then uncover, fluff with a fork and let it cool.
- While the quinoa is cooking, blanch the peas and asparagus in salted boiling water for just a few minutes, until bright and tender. Rinse under cold water.
- Place the cooled quinoa and blanched veggies in a bowl. Add the scallions, dill and almonds and give a toss. Add the oil, lemon zest and lemon juice and salt, pepper and stir again.
- Taste, adjust salt and lemon, adding more if you like.
- If you are making this ahead, be sure to taste before serving as flavors will mellow – so I’ll usually add a little more salt and lemon right before serving and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Serve with optional avocado, feta, goat cheese, sunflower sprouts.
If making this ahead – be sure to taste this right before serving and adjust salt and lemon once more -because quinoa has a tendency to soak up all the flavor! Wait until serving to add any cheese, sprouts or avocado, so salad looks beautiful and fresh.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 245
- Sugar: 3.6 g
- Sodium: 210.8 mg
- Fat: 14.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 24.8 g
- Fiber: 5.2 g
- Protein: 7.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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