Thursday, May 8, 2014

Minty Asparagus Quinoa Salad

Thanks to the dozens of kids who cooked with us at the Club Sprouts tent at Green City Market's opening day on May 3. Our recipe featured spring stars like purple asparagus and ramps from Mick Klug, lime mint from Growing Power and Nordic Creamery's parmesan. We love local!

The Minty Asparagus Quinoa Salad was a hit among kids and parents alike. Feel free to go off script and swap out asparagus for sugar snaps, fava beans, english peas or edamame. And when ramps aren't around anymore, you can use scallions or red onions. We love how well raw asparagus works in this dish, but you can also roast it for a different flavor.

Minty Asparagus Quinoa Salad

1 cup raw quinoa
6-8 oz purple asparagus
3-4 ramps, thinly sliced (white, pink and green parts)
Leaves from 2 sprigs mint, thinly sliced
1 oz parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, coarsely grated or shaved
2 T olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon (about 2 T)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp salt

Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve, shaking off excess moisture. Combine quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat (keeping it covered) and let stand 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally.

Snap off tough ends of asparagus and discard. Thinly slice stalks and add to quinoa, along with sliced ramps, mint and cheese. Stir gently to combine.

In a separate small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt and whisk well. Pour dressing over salad, tossing gently to coat. Season to taste with additional salt if needed. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings

What kids can do (with appropriate tools and adult supervision)
*Trim and slice asparagus
*Chop cheese
*Snip ramps
*Tear mint
*Measure quinoa
*Squeeze lemon wedges
*Pinch salt and pepper
*Stir salad

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