I wait patiently for the few weeks every year when local asparagus finally makes its way to my kitchen. A late start to spring, and perhaps an early start to summer, meant I had to wait a little bit longer. Asparagus is cheaper than our beloved broccoli, at least right now, so we’ve been stocking up. Stalking up, is probably more correct. HA!
This was a simple salad completely worth sharing. It is multi-component, but each part is simple and completely malleable to what you have in your kitchen. I picked quinoa as a fluffy base to the salad and seasonal roasted asparagus as my green. It is topped with candied nuts and seeds, oven roasted with maple syrup and everything is balanced with a tangy lemon-tahini dressing. Avocado would have been a nice accompaniment, too.
The recipe is adapted from Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Eat. Originally published in Britain, it was updated for a North American audience. The cookbook is vegetarian with plenty of vegan or vegan-friendly recipes, and I love this cookbook so far. The recipes highlight vegetables with seemingly simple ways to create meals without being boring. She has worked with Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi, if that gives you an idea of her recipes: flavourful unique combinations with a touch of simple.
Recipes from A Modern Way to Eat spotted elsewhere (I found many of them!):
Any night of the week pizza
Autumn roasted root panzanella
Avocado and lemon zest spaghetti
Banana, blueberry and pecan pancakes
Brown sugar meringues with sticky apples and pears
Butterscotch chocolate chip blondies
California miso, avocado and lima bean salad
Cardamom and carrot cakes with maple icing
Celeriac soup with hazelnuts and crispy sage
Cherry and rose water macaroon tart
Cherry poppy seed waffles
Double chocolate cloud cake
Double greens and filo pie
Elderflower and pistachio cake
Farro with roasted leeks and smoky-sweet romesco
Figs with sticky date dressing
Full of greens fritters
Goodwill rainbow pie
Laura’s herbed green quinoa
Lemon-roasted feta with traffic-light tomatoes
Lemony lentil with crispy kale soup (totally on my to-make list)
Light tart of butternut squash and kale
Lime and chipotle black bean tacos
Maple peanut California wraps (totally on my to-make list)
The New Eggs Benedict with a Healthy Hollandaise
Overnight bircher with peaches
Pan-dressed noodles with crunchy cabbage and crispy tofu
Raw thai citrus crunch salad
The really hungry burger
Roasted spring vegetables with watercress vinaigrette
Seeded pistachio and squash galette
Strawberry poppy seed crisp
Sweet potato quesadillas
Sweet red onion and hazelnut pizette
Tomato and coconut cassoulet (totally on my to-make list)
Turkish fried eggs
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup mixed nuts and seeds (I used pistachios, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds)
1 tbsp maple syrup
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
1.75 cups water
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp TJ’s no salt seasoning
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Begin by making your mapled nuts and seeds. Preheat oven to 400F. Place nuts and seeds on a baking tray lined by a silpat. Pour the maple syrup overtop, stirring to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (I only added salt, no pepper). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
2. Next, prepare your asparagus for roasting. Keep the oven at 400F. Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet lined with a silpat and drizzle with the oil. Stir to coat the asparagus with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. Shake the pan to turn the asparagus and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and roasted.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa: Bring water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add quinoa and nutritional yeast and no-salt seasoning. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Keep covered for an additional 5 minutes to steam. Set aside.
4. Make your dressing by mixing together the tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup and oil in a small cup.
5. To serve, combine the asparagus with the quinoa, drizzle with the dressing and top with the maple nuts and seeds. I think avocado would be good here, too.
Anna’s seasonal options (and times if steaming)
- Winter · purple sprouting broccoli (40 seconds) and kale (30 seconds)
Spring · purple sprouting broccoli (40 seconds) and asparagus (60 seconds)
Summer · green beans (40 seconds) and broccoli (40 seconds)
Autumn · shredded sprouts (30 seconds) and winter greens (30 seconds)