If you are looking for a salad that is light but filling and a perfect balance of fresh and zesty, then you have come to the right place. This Radish, Pea and Quinoa Shaved Asparagus Salad paired with a Mint Lemon Dressing is absolutely bursting with fresh flavors that really pack a punch. These fresh flavors and the varying textures make this salad the perfect base for delicately grilled shrimp or fish. Or enjoy all by itself.
So I really feel like this should be a spring salad, but with the late seasons happening this year I can STILL find asparagus and radishes at the farmers market right now. In fact, I received a bunch of Easter Egg radishes in my CSA boxes this week, so that crop is clearly still going strong. Plus I always have frozen peas in the freezer, so those little guys can come into play at any time of the year.
This asparagus quinoa salad is fresh. Fresh as it gets in fact. We have raw asparagus, raw radishes, barely blanched peas and super fresh mint and lemon straight from the garden. You don’t have them in the garden??? Get on it! And also sorry…but these things are the easiest things to grow in the history of the world and you need to get started asap. We are getting 200+ lemons a year and the mint is just rampant. I would actually consider it a pest if I didn’t use it so much (check out my mint pesto on some grilled salmon and that will convince you to get your own growing).
OK, I Have The Shaved Asparagus Salad, Now What Do I Pair It With?
ALL the things.
I have paired mine with some:
- grilled salmon;
- grilled or sautéed shrimp (done in garlic butter: mmmm mmmm mmmm);
- grilled, baked or sautéed chicken;
- baked tofu;
- easy, crispy oven baked chicken thighs from Wholesome Yum;
- homemade rotisserie style chicken;
- ALL ON IT’S OWN for a splendid lunch!!!
- 2 lemons juiced and zested
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup green peas fresh or frozen
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 bunch radishes
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
Using a food processor or immersion blender puree the lemon zest and juice, mint, maple syrup and salt until uniform in texture.
With the motor still running, slowly add in the olive oil until you get a consistency which can be drizzled. You may need to add a little bit of water. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Make the quinoa according to the package instructions
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the peas and cook for about 2 min, until bright green. Quickly drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Wash the asparagus and remove the ends. Using a vegetable peeler, slice the asparagus lengthwise into long, thin ribbons.
Preheat a dry skillet over med-high heat. When it gets hot, toast the pumpkin seeds and the pine nuts, tossing often, for about 4 minutes. Remove from the skillet immediately.
Thinly slice the radishes.
Assemble the salad: In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa with the radishes, peas, asparagus, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts. Pour in about half the dressing and a pinch of sea salt and toss well to combine. Add more dressing if needed.