Introducing an irresistible quinoa salad bursting with flavors and textures! This easy-to-make, nutritious dish combines roasted asparagus, chickpeas, and feta cheese, creating a symphony of taste that will delight your senses.
Dive into this vibrant, delicious, and healthy salad that’s perfect for any occasion!
Cooking Quinoa: Fast and Simple
The first thing I like to do is cook the quinoa. Unlike most grains, quinoa cooks very quickly because it is technically a seed. To cook quinoa, follow these steps:
- Rinse 1 cup of quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold water for about 30 seconds or until the water runs clear and no foamy bubbles are visible.
- Add the quinoa to a small saucepan along with 2 cups of cold water.
- Turn the heat up to high, let everything come to a boil, and then reduce the heat.
- Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, partially covered.
You’ll know your quinoa is ready when all the water is absorbed and there are tiny white rings around each quinoa seed. Fluff the quinoa and set it aside to cool while you prepare the asparagus.
Roasting Asparagus: Adding Depth of Flavor
You could steam your asparagus for this recipe, but roasting it adds a depth of flavor that works perfectly in this salad. To roast asparagus, follow these steps:
- Trim off the woodsy ends of the asparagus.
- Lay the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roll the asparagus to ensure each spear has a light coating of the seasonings.
- Bake in a 425-degree oven for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus spears.
Once the asparagus is tender and cool enough to handle, cut the spears into 1-inch pieces.
Light and Bright Lemony Salad Dressing
For the salad dressing, we are keeping it simple with a light and bright lemony dressing. To make the dressing, follow these steps:
- In a spouted cup, bowl, or mason jar, add 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
- Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of finely minced garlic, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Whisk everything together.
Assembling the Quinoa Salad
To assemble the salad, follow these steps:
- In a large bowl, add the cooled quinoa.
- Top with the roasted asparagus, a 15-ounce can of rinsed and drained chickpeas, and 1/4 cup of thinly sliced scallions.
- Drizzle the dressing over the top and gently toss everything together.
- Add crumbled feta cheese and a couple of tablespoons of fresh chopped mint or parsley.
- Toss the salad once more to incorporate all the ingredients.
Serving the Quinoa Salad
Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and top it with more feta cheese and a sprinkle of fresh mint. This beautiful, bright, vibrant salad is easy to make, delicious, and nutritious.
Tips and Variations:
- You can steam the asparagus instead of roasting it for a milder flavor.
- Try adding other vegetables like cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or cucumber for extra crunch and variety.
- For a more filling salad, add grilled chicken, tofu, or salmon.
- Swap out the feta cheese for goat cheese, blue cheese, or even avocado for a different flavor.
- Replace mint with other fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or cilantro.
- Use lime juice instead of lemon juice for a different tangy flavor in the dressing.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can I use frozen asparagus instead of fresh?
A: Yes, you can use frozen asparagus. Just make sure to thaw it and pat it dry before roasting.
Q: Can I make this salad ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can prepare the salad up to a day in advance. Just store the salad and dressing separately and combine them just before serving.
Q: How long will this salad last in the fridge?
A: This quinoa salad will last for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.
Q: Can I use another type of grain instead of quinoa?
A: Yes, you can substitute other grains like couscous, farro, or barley. Just follow the cooking instructions for the specific grain you choose.
Q: Is this salad gluten-free?
A: Yes, quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making this salad a great option for those following a gluten-free diet. However, always double-check the labels of other ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free as well.
Required Kitchen Tools and Equipment:
- Fine mesh strainer
- Small saucepan with lid
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Mixing bowl
- Spouted cup, bowl, or mason jar (for making dressing)
- Cutting board
- Serving bowl
When you try this recipe, don't forget to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram and Facebook so I can see all the clean and delicious dishes you're whipping up in your very own kitchen. Thank you so much for reading, and I'll be back with more clean and delicious recipes soon. Cheers!Print
This vibrant, delicious, and nutritious quinoa salad features roasted asparagus, chickpeas, feta cheese, and a light lemony dressing. It is an easy-to-make dish perfect for a healthy meal.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups cold water
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh squeezed garlic, minced
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp fresh chopped mint or parsley (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Rinse 1 cup of quinoa under cold water for 30 seconds, then combine with 2 cups of cold water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes, partially covered, until all the water is absorbed and white rings appear around each quinoa seed.
- Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and set aside to cool.
- Trim the woodsy ends off the asparagus and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until tender.
- Once the asparagus is cool enough to handle, cut the spears into 1-inch pieces.
- In a spouted cup or bowl, combine 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, and black pepper. Whisk together to create the dressing.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, roasted asparagus, garbanzo beans, and sliced scallions. Drizzle the dressing on top and gently toss to combine.
- Add the crumbled feta cheese and chopped mint or parsley to the salad, then toss again to incorporate.
- Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and top with more feta cheese and fresh herbs.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Baking, Boiling
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Serving Size: 4 Servings
- Calories: 429
- Sugar: 6g
- Sodium: 480mg
- Fat: 18g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 13g
- Carbohydrates: 52g
- Fiber: 10g
- Protein: 17g
- Cholesterol: 25mg