Quinoa SaladRoasted Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Salad with Vinaigrette
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 black pepper
1 1/2 cups rainbow quinoa, uncooked
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 lb asparagus
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 medium red onion
1 medium yellow pepper
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
3 tablespoons basil, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil (cold pressed)
Quinoa, aka the mother grain, is actually a seed. A seed in need of a friend. Herbs, salt and stocks give it a flavor boost. Quinoa is available in several varieties. Having cooked our way through many a quinoa, we prefer the “rainbow,” a mix of the three most common varieties: white, red and black.
Yield 6 servings
Make the vinaigrette, first allowing the basil flavor to bloom. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped basil, salt and black pepper; set aside. Rinse the rainbow quinoa until the water runs clear. In a 6-quart pot add the wet quinoa, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, garlic cloves, salt and 3 cups vegetable stock. Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Spoon cooked quinoa onto a large cookie sheet, allow to slightly cool, then place in refrigerator to cool completely before assembling salad.
While the quinoa is cooking, prep salad ingredients. Preheat oven to 400º. Rinse and cut asparagus on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Rinse cherry tomatoes and pat dry. In a large bowl mix asparagus and cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a sheet tray. Roast in the oven’s middle rack for 10–12 minutes or until asparagus is crisply tender and cherry tomatoes have softened. (Be careful not to overcook or char tomato skins). When done, remove sheet tray from oven and cool completely.
Peel onion and cut into small dice. Wash yellow pepper, trim top and bottom, and discard pieces. Slice pepper into thin strips, then into medium-sized dice. Rinse scallions, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch slices and set aside all vegetables.
Assemble salad: In a large mixing bowl, add the cooled quinoa, red onion, yellow pepper and scallions. Gently toss all ingredients. Add roasted asparagus and tomatoes and add half of the basil balsamic vinaigrette. Again, gently toss all ingredients. Taste. Adjust salt and black pepper seasoning, if necessary. Add remaining vinaigrette, again gently toss. Let salad rest in refrigerator for at least 2 hours so all flavors meld together.