Quinoa and Asparagus Salad with Mimosa Vinaigrette
Quinoa is native to the Andes, not the Middle East, so it was unknown to the Jews fleeing Egypt during biblical times. With the recent rise of quinoa’s popularity in the United States, and the fact that it’s not a true grain but rather the seed of a broadleaf plant, some circles of Judaism have approved of and welcomed it to the Passover table, while others have not. If you feel comfortable serving it this Passover, you will love how it absorbs the vinaigrette, bright with lemon and enriched with finely grated hard-boiled eggs, and how it forms a tender bed for the ribbons of scallion and raw asparagus.
Editor’s Note: This recipe is part of Gourmet’s Modern Menu for Passover. Menu also includes Wine-Braised Brisket with Tart Cherries and Amaretto Olive Oil Cake.
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (8 ounces) quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
Kosher or fine salt
5 scallions, trimmed
1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
2 teaspoons mild honey
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Put eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then cover pan, and remove from heat. Let eggs stand, covered, 15 minutes, then drain, and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool completely. Remove shells and finely grate eggs with a Microplane or the fine holes of box grater into a small bowl. Set aside.
Rinse quinoa well in a large fine-mesh sieve under cold running water. Set sieve over a bowl and let quinoa drain well for at least 5 minutes. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil with 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher or fine) in a 3-quart saucepan. Add quinoa and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, 16 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let quinoa stand, covered, 5 minutes. Spoon quinoa onto a large rimmed baking sheet, spreading it in a single layer, and let it cool to room temperature.
Cut scallions into 2-inch pieces. Halve each piece lengthwise, then slice lengthwise into thin strips (julienne). Transfer to a large bowl.
Using vegetable peeler, peel lengthwise strips from asparagus, beginning at bottom end, and add to scallion. Once you can’t peel any more slices from a stalk, break off the thick end (reserving it for another use, such as soup) and add the remaining thin strip to bowl with scallions.
Whisk together lemon juice with honey and 3/4 teaspoon kosher (1/2 teaspoon fine) salt until smooth. Add oil in a steady stream, whisking until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired, then whisk in grated eggs.
Transfer quinoa to another large bowl and toss with herbs and 1/2 cup vinaigrette, or to taste. Toss asparagus with 3 tablespoons vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon quinoa onto salad plates, and top with a tangle of asparagus and scallion. Serve remaining vinaigrette on the side, or save, chilled, for another salad.
Cooks’ notes: Quinoa and eggs can be cooked up to 1 day ahead. Let cool as directed, then chill in separate containers. Herbs can be kept between slightly dampened towels in resealable plastic bags, 1 day ahead. Asparagus and scallion can be cut prepped and kept between slightly dampened towels in resealable plastic bags, 1 day ahead. Vinaigrette (without eggs) can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Stir in grated egg just before dressing salad.
Quinoa and eggs can be cooked up to 1 day ahead. Let cool as directed, then chill in separate containers.
Herbs can be kept between slightly dampened towels in resealable plastic bags, 1 day ahead.
Asparagus and scallion can be cut prepped and kept between slightly dampened towels in resealable plastic bags, 1 day ahead.
Vinaigrette (without eggs) can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Stir in grated egg just before dressing salad.
*These recipes are contributed by users of the RecipeHive service. The recipe ingredients or instructions may have been altered from the original by the user that submitted them. Accuracy is not guaranteed.