Quinoa, Asparagus and Broccoli Salad

I opened the refrigerator door and spotted a jar of the Orange Vinaigrette and two partially empty clamshell containers of yellow and red cherry tomates that I used to make yesterday’s Moroccan Garbanzo Bean Salad.  Hearing my Mother’s voice in the back of my head (telling me that I shouldn’t waste food) I decided to put together a salad that used some of the ingredients that were sitting in my refrigerator.

Looking on the other shelves I came across a bunch of asparagus that I bought a few days ago.  The asparagus, imported from Peru, ( for those who will leave nasty comments about how we should only eat locally produced food, I promise to sing the chorus of  “We are the world” and now everywhere will be considered local) were tossed in the basket because they were on sale and, at that time, I figured that I would come up with some use for them.  Also hiding in the vegetable drawer was a head of broccoli that I am certain I did not buy.  Sometimes my wife buys things at the store and forgets to mention that we now own them.  The broccoli probably falls into the catagory.  On the top shelve was a partially empty, 24 ounce container of Feta cheese that was purchased a few weeks ago at Sam’s Club.

The inventory now sitting on my kitchen counter stands at asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, Feta cheese and dressing.  Not a bad start.  Since my wife is a vegetarian and I always try to add some substance to dishes,  off to the pantry to see what would go with my selected ingredients.  I found the typical vegetarian staples: quinoa, pearl barley, couscous, TVP, kasha and three kinds of rice.  Being a lazy cook, since it only takes about 15 mintes to prepare, I picked the quinoa.  Any of the gains would have worked nicely, so if something else appeals to you then use that.

Printable recipe

Quinoa, Asparagus and Broccoli Salad

 

Ingredients

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock

1 pound asparagus

1 pound broccoli

½ cup Pignolias (Pine nuts)

20 cherry tomatoes

1 cup Feta cheese

¼ cup orange juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Method

  1. In a small pot combine Quinoa with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer till all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Remove and let cool.
  2. Break off the woody bottoms of the asparagus and cut into 1-2” pieces.  Cut broccoli into bite size pieces.  Steam the vegetables till just al dente.  Let cool.
  3. In a saute pan, on medium heat, toast the nuts till fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.  Don’t walk away as nuts can very quickly go from raw to burnt.  Let cool.
  4. To make dressing combine orange juice, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake till combined.
  5. On a platter arrange a bed of Quinoa.  Top with the steamed vegetables, tomatoes, Feta and nuts.  Pour the dressing over the top.
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