Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Asparagus, White Beans and Red Peppers

Serves 4
Recipe from Quick-Fix Vegetarian by Robin Robertson
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

If you’ve never tried quinoa, this is a great recipe to introduce yourself to this nutritious food. There are several other quinoa recipes on this blog (Spanish Quinoa, Quinoa Chili, Quinoa Salad Bowl, Sour Cream Fudge Quinoa Cupcakes, and Quinoa Breakfast.) We liked this for a good-for-you lunch! It’s delicious. It’s pretty. It’s healthy. The quinoa takes on the flavor of the orange juice and is the perfect filler for the crisp roasted asparagus and the creamy white beans. Make this for your Meatless Monday lunch or dinner!

1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed with hot water (drain) (Rinsing the quinoa will prevent it from having a bitter taste, so don’t skip this step!)
2 cups water
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch thin asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Juice of one lemon or orange (The original recipe calls for lemon, but I had an orange left over from the holidays, so I used it. Orange and asparagus go well together!)
1 (16 oz.) can cannelini beans (or other white beans), rinsed and drained
1 (6 oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into ¼ inch by 2-inch strips
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons minced scallions (about 2 large scallions)
Salad greens, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Combine the quinoa with the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Salt the water, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Drain well and place in a bowl. Set aside to cool.
Arrange the asparagus on a lightly oiled baking pan and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast until tender, about 8 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3 Tablespoons olive oil, the lemon or orange juice, and Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the white beans, roasted red peppers, celery and scallions along with the roasted asparagus and cooked quinoa. Toss gently to combine. Serve on salad greens.

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