Monday, June 27, 2011

What's Cookin?: (Meatless Monday) Spring Quinoa Salad

This is a great side or main dish that features the fabulous greens available during spring. It's the essence of spring on a plate. I used veggies that were available to me. Feel free to substitute anything you have on hand. I happened to have some Swiss chard and snap peas from the garden and asparagus from the farmer's market. I love grilled asparagus so I decided to grill mine. You could always decrease cooking time by chopping them up and sauteing them with the snap peas.

The next time I make this (believe me, they'll be a next time!), I think I'll double the dressing and increase the lemon. I love the combination of lemon, garlic and dill. I think I want it to really shine through next time. Here it ode to spring on a plate.

Spring Quinoa Salad
Serves: 4-6

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
zest of 1/2 a lemon

extra virgin oil oil (for sauteing)
1 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 c. water or vegetable stock (or you can use chicken stock for a non-meatless option)
1 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed off
1/2 bunch of Swiss chard, stems and ribs removed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, then blanched
1 clove of garlic, minced
8 oz. sugar snap peas, strings removed and cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces

1) Whisk ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.

2) Add about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa to the pot and saute for a few minutes. Add the 2 c. water or stock to the pan. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes (or until the liquid is absorbed).

3) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and slice into 3/4 inch pieces.

4) Quickly saute snap peas in a little olive oil and 1 minced clove of garlic over high heat for about 2-3 minutes.

5) Add blanched Swiss chard, asparagus and snap peas to a large bowl. Salt and pepper lightly. Add the quinoa to the bowl with the vegetables. Drizzle dressing over the bowl and toss. Re-season with salt and pepper as needed.