Spring is in the air with this Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing! With asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, and a lemon basil dressing it will make you feel like the sun is shining more and more with every bite.
This salad is what happens when you force me to go vegan-by-association.
And then simultaneously throw brute force attacks on my website, tax day, and snow at me.
SNOW. In APRIL. If that’s not a cause for melodramatic quinoa consumption, then I don’t know what is.
Of course, I followed it up with ice cream.
But that’s really neither here nor there.
Because, honestly, this salad is good enough for stress-eating all on it’s own! And that is truly saying something.
As I mentioned yesterday, the.boy and his family do this whole Lent thing pretty hardcore: meatless Wednesdays and Fridays for all forty days, and then no meat or dairy during holy week.
While this would leave some people crying in a corner, I saw it as my own personal challenge to create something deliciously dairy-free.
This quinoa salad is full of bright spring flavors, like sweet and tangy sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized roasted asparagus, briny olives, and a bright lemon basil dressing. Plus some steamed kale and tender chickpeas thrown in for virtuosity.
It tastes like a warm sunny day, and might even make you forget about that pile of snow you have to shovel off your car.
Let the melodramatic quinoa consumption ensue.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- 2 tbsp olive oil+1/4 cup olive oil, divided (or oil from sun-dried tomato jar)
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped and steamed
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives, halved
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup sliced basil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tsp honey
- Rinse the quinoa well and then put it in a medium saucepan with the water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, cooking for about 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and water has evaporated. Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Arrange asparagus on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with the 2 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15 minutes. Let cool and then cut into 1-inch slices.
- In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, asparagus, kale, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- For the dressing, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, basil, garlic, and honey. Pulse until pureed. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Toss with the salad and serve at room temperature or slightly warm.
For more quinoa salads, check out these:
Strawberry Quinoa Salad from Damn Delicious
Spring Carrot, Radish and Quinoa Salad with Herbed Avocado from Cookie and Kate
Kale, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette from Ambitious Kitchen