In the beginning of spring, asparagus makes its appearance on the grocery store shelves – and then more excitingly you start seeing it at the farmer’s market! Although we love inventing a million ways to cook winter squash and root vegetables, the fresh, tender, grassy spears are a very welcomed sight for us at the restaurant Hearth.
While supermarket asparagus will work in a pinch, we tend to pass on it because the fresh stuff from the farmers’ market is so much better by comparison. The spears at the supermarket are thin, tough, and stringy while the farmers’ market version is thick, tender, and juicy.
The asparagus is the star of the show in this recipe, but its supporting actors are what brings out its best qualities. The avocado adds a silky element, the quinoa adds protein and nuttiness, the herbs and lime juice add a pop of brightness, and the Brodo gives it that je ne sais quoi.
This salad goes great with pizza, steak, roast chicken, and burgers – or it can also be eaten on its own. It makes a great portable lunch as long as you add the avocado right before digging in to prevent discoloration.
This recipe comes from Marco’s cookbook A Good Food Day so if you enjoy this recipe, you’ll love the book!
- 1 bunch asparagus (medium or fat stalks are best)
- 1 avocado, cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 1 bunch scallions, white and pale parts only, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn with your fingers
- 1/2 cup red quinoa, cooked in 1 cup Brodo and allowed to cool to room temperature
- Juice of 1 lemon or lime
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Working over a cutting board, shave the asparagus into thin ribbons by holding the tough end of the spear and using a vegetable peeler to peel toward the tip. Throw away the tough ends after peeling.
- Pile the asparagus ribbons in a large salad bowl and add the avocado, scallions, mint, and quinoa. Dress with the citrus juice and olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to avoid mashing up the avocado chunks.