Roasted asparagus and radishes are the star of this fresh and flavorful springtime quinoa salad. Perfect as a make-ahead lunch option or a potluck side dish. Vegan and gluten-free.
I know I post a lot of salads, but I can’t help it that salads are my favorite thing to make. I probably should have named my blog Eating Big Salads instead of Eating Bird Food. Just kidding. Kind of. <– Just checked and it looks like the domain is still available. Should I buy it?
Anyhow, my latest salad obsession is here. It’s a quinoa salad loaded with all things spring — garlic, scallions, asparagus, parsley and the prettiest of radishes.
Easter Egg Radishes. Aren’t they lovely?
For this salad I decided to roast the radishes and asparagus rather than keeping them raw. I love the crunch of raw vegetables, but roasting adds depth of flavor and a unique texture.
Roasted veggies are perfection hot from the oven, but they’re also lovely cooled and tossed into salads. Leftover roasted vegetables are a rarity around here because Isaac and I can easily eat a whole pan in one sitting. Whenever we have them for dinner I always try to make extra for salads. Sometimes it works, sometimes we just end up eating the extra. Oops!
Sorry, my love for roasting vegetables distracted me. Back to this salad and all of its springy goodness.
The raw garlic, scallions and parsley add a ton of favor so the dressing is very simple and light — just olive oil, lemon, maple syrup and sea salt. Last but not least, the chopped pistachios add a nutty crunch.
All stirred up with pops of pink, purple and green. So pretty!
So let’s talk about the base for the salad — quinoa!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I adore quinoa and use it ALL.THE.TIME. It’s quick to cook, gluten-free, a complete source of protein, full of fiber, high in magnesium and a good source of manganese, iron, copper, folate, zinc, phosphorous, riboflavin and other B vitamins.
In terms of quinoa brands, Ancient Harvest has always been my go-to. I got hooked on it when I started buying quinoa flakes and once I realized that their traditional quinoa is pre-rinsed I vowed to only buy Ancient Harvest moving forward. Rinsing a tiny little seed like quinoa without losing a ton of it down the drain is nearly impossible.
I’ve also noticed that some brands of quinoa include a lot of tiny pieces of debris (like sticks and dirt) and I’ve never seen that with Ancient Harvest products. Besides being forever grateful to Ancient Harvest for doing the dirty work of rinsing the quinoa, it makes me happy that their products are organic and sustainably sourced as well. They have a long-term (30+ year) relationship with a Bolivian farming community and are committed to ethical sourcing of their quinoa.
Given my love for quinoa and the Ancient Harvest brand, I was honored and excited when they asked me to be one of their 2015 blogger ambassadors. As part of this program, I’ll be sharing seasonal quinoa creations throughout the year, partnering with the Ancient Harvest on giveaways and working on a few other surprise projects.
I’m starting things off with a bang as today’s spring quinoa salad is the first of my Ancient Harvest posts.
I know you’re going to love this salad! I’ve made it twice already and Isaac and I are hooked on it’s robust flavor. I seriously won’t be shocked if I end up making it again this week. We DO have asparagus in the fridge right now…
If you enjoy this quinoa salad, I have a roundup of healthy quinoa salad recipes.
Roasted asparagus and radishes are the star of this fresh and flavorful springtime quinoa salad. Perfect as a make-ahead lunch option for a potluck side dish. Vegan and gluten-free.
1 cup dry quinoa
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch of radishes, quartered
2 teaspoons olive oil (for roasting)
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup parsley leaves, chopped
5 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
Cook quinoa in water according to package directions. Remove from heat and let cool. This step can be done ahead of time.
Pre-heat the oven to 400° F. Toss asparagus and radishes with olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking stone. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables have reached your desired texture. If your asparagus spears are really thin, they may need to be taken out of the oven a bit earlier than the radishes.
Once roasted, remove the veggies from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large salad bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, maple syrup, sea salt, and red pepper flakes.
Add the asparagus, radishes, quinoa, parsley, scallions, and toss well to combine. Top with pistachios before serving.
If you end up making this recipe (or any others for that matter) be sure to come back and leave a comment or better yet, share a photo of social media and tag me (@eatingbirdfood or #eatingbirdfood) so that I see it. I love seeing and sharing your EBF creations. It literally makes my day! <3