After a terrible weather in the past days, warm temperatures are finally back in Paris! When the sun is out in the capital, you’ll see all Parisians craving for a nice, fresh and nutritious salad. As it’s asparagus peak season at the moment, I thought of making this nutty and flavoured salad with a pinch of za’tar.
I love quinoa as a salad basis for many reasons: it’s super-healthy, nourishing, light and extremely versatile. It is easy to combine other ingredients with it and is adaptable to any season of the year with different veggies, seeds, proteins… One of the best things is that quinoa is naturally gluten-free.
This salad is so easy to make and inspired by seasonal produces. All of the elements for this salad can be prepared ahead of time and combined last minute before eating. This will save you some time while preserving the taste of each ingredient and the crunchy texture of the nuts crumble.
For this salad dressing, I have used my wild garlic pesto. It will bring a lot of freshness and seasoning to boost this nourishing dish with a sharp flavour. You can either have this salad warm of cold which makes it perfect for fluctuating spring temperatures!
RECIPE serves 1
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Chill time: 20 minutes
You will need:
- 40g quinoa (uncooked)
- 3-4 white asparagus
- 1 tsp wild garlic pesto
- 10g mixed nuts (in this case, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pecans)
- A few pine nuts
- 2 scallions
- A pinch of za’tar
- Walnut oil
- Sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- Cheese to top up (optional- I have used ewe’s milk cheese, other options could be parmesan or pecorino)
Heat up your oven to 200°C.
Start with heating up a large pot of water with salt. Wash and peel the asparagus only the bottom part). When the water boils, cook the asparagus for 8 to 10 minutes. Take them out of the water and set aside.
Prepare the nuts crumble. Put the mixed nuts (not the pine nuts) in a food processor and crush the nuts a little, you should still have pieces. Place in the oven over a baking sheet the crushed nuts and the pine nuts and toast for about 10 minutes.
Heat up a pot with water and salt until it boils. Rinse the quinoa with cold water and add it to the boiling water, let cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain really well and let the quinoa cool down for 20 minutes.
In a pan, put a dash of walnut oil. Slice the asparagus nicely: I make sections first and then cut the sections into two pieces lengthwise. Lightly grill the asparagus over a medium heat, it should become a little golden-brown on each side. Set in a plate aside and while still hot, sprinkle some sea salt and za’tar over the sections.
Chop the scallions and chives, grate some cheese if using.
Start with placing the quinoa in a bowl, stir in a teaspoons of wild garlic pesto. Add some scallions and chives, stir in. Nicely place the asparagus over the quinoa, sprinkle the nuts crumble, more scallions, chives and finally the grated cheese if you are using some.
Enjoy this salad warm or cold 🙂