Spring Quinoa Salad

This Spring Quinoa Salad has asparagus, peas, avocado and basil all tossed together in a lemon basil vinaigrette.  It’s springtime in a salad and it’s fantastic!

Spring Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Peas, Avocado and BasilDon’t you just love Spring and all the fresh veggies that come with it?  I sure do. I get so excited to hit the farmers markets. I love the abundance of fresh, seasonal vegetables.  Granted, it’s easy to find spring vegetables like asparagus year round in large grocery stores, but there’s something special about getting fresh, seasonal veggies from a farmers market.  I wish I can say I made this salad with fresh veggies from the farmers market, but I haven’t found one yet here in my new home town.  You can bet when I do, I’ll be there weekly!

Recently, I made this quinoa salad to share with my friends over at Made From Pinterest.  The recipe is from Two Peas and Their Pod and it’s a keeper!  I really loved the flavors going on in this salad. Fresh, light and perfect for lunch or as a side dish to accompany something hot off the grill!

Spring Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Avocado, Peas & BasilThis quinoa salad is equally tasty warm after it’s first put together as well as later on after it’s chilled, which makes it a perfect pot luck type dish in my book. The lemon basil dressing is light and delicious and I loved how the creamy avocado contrasts with the crunchy peas and asparagus.  I especially love the little pop you get from the quinoa.

Spring Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Avocado, Peas & BasilWhen I ate this Spring Quinoa Salad the second day I tossed in some goat cheese that I had in the refrigerator.  It was a fantastic addition.  I think I’d enjoy it with feta, fresh mozzarella, or parmesan too. But then again, I do love my cheese!

Spring Quinoa Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 2 C. water
  • 1 C. quinoa
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small bunch asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 tbls. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 C. frozen peas (can use fresh if you have some)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ C. chopped basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
For the Vinaigrette
  • 3 Tbls. olive oil
  • 3 Tbls. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbls. finely chopped basil
  • salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in bowl or dressing jar, whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan add water, salt and quinoa. Bring to boil and continue to boil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
  4. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and add asparagus and lemon juice. Quickly sauté to soften asparagus. Add peas and heat through.
  5. In large bowl, add quinoa, asparagus, peas and avocado. Toss with the vinaigrette. Add basil and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.
You could also steam the asparagus and peas or blanch in boiling water if you prefer not to sauté it in a skillet.

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

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