raw asparagus quinoa salad with almond & jalapeno recipe

I love days when you have healthy leftovers in the fridge. Quinoa is one of those ingredients I love to cook more than is required, so I can have it at hand should the urge kick in for a simple seasonal salad for lunch. With fresh Asparagus appearing earlier this month I wanted to create a dish that celebrates its goodness in a simple, unadulterated way. Nothing is more simple than raw. Some people may find the idea of raw asparagus a little strange, but if you have not already tried it...I urge you to. You may be pleasantly surprised by its fresh, crisp almost pea-like flavour. A far cry from the soft and overly salty canned variety so many of us New Zealanders are accustomed to.

With a few handfuls of fresh herbs from the garden, some toasted almonds for crunch,  perfectly ripe Hass avocado, there is nothing that screams more of spring...don't you think?

I like to have a spicy kick to most of my food and totally admit to having a chilli addiction. These wee babies are the last jar of my home grown jalapenos from last summer. I used this wonderful recipe of David Lebovitz's to pickle most of the crop. I'm not looking forward to the day (very soon) when they will all be gone! I'd better grow a lot more this season.

raw asparagus quinoa salad with almond and jalapeno recipe
I imagine a crumbling of feta cheese would go nicely in this salad too, if you do dairy. Serves 4-6 as a side or less as a main meal.

  • 250 g bunch of fresh asparagus (approx. 10 spears)
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado
  • 2 cups of cooked and cooled quinoa (1/2 cup raw) see here for cooking instructions
  • small bunch of mint, roughly shredded
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • small handful of chives, finely chopped
  • 1-3 pickled jalapenos, sliced
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) slivered almonds, lightly toasted

  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 7 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp mustard (make sure it's gluten-free)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

First make the dressing by combining the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, honey and mustard in a jar. Shake well to combine, then season with sea salt and pepper.

Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the woody end and discarding, or save for stock/soup. Then either using a mandolin or a sharp knife, thinly slice the spears on a slight angle and place in a medium bowl. Add the pre-cooked and cooled quinoa, herbs, jalapenos (as many or as little as you like) and toasted almonds.  Halve the avocado and scoop rough chunks into the bowl. Pour over enough dressing to coat and mix to combine. Enjoy!

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  • Reply
    October 30, 2010 at 2:01 am

    yeh man, raw asparagus is damn good and nobody believes me when I say it…but you can deny asparagus rolls are good too! 😉

  • Reply
    October 30, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I assume you meant to say "can't" deny… 🙂 Yes I would be fibbing if I said I didn't like Asapargus rolls Lou. xx

  • Reply
    October 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

    those pickled jalapenos look so good. I love this salad.I'd love to give it a try soon

  • Reply
    October 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Will have to wait until next Spring to taste raw asparagus! your salad looks healthy and beautiful. I love preparing quinoa salads for my lunch box.

  • Reply
    October 31, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Alisa- those pickled jalapenos are addictive 😉
    Blandine- the joys of reading blogs from the other side of the world….you have to wait half a year to try out the recipes! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 1, 2010 at 4:55 am

    this looks divine. i am all over quinoa right now. going on day three of quinoa inspired salads. Mmmm. Thanks! xo m.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Emm!! Looks amazing. What a beautiful salad. I'm envious that you are getting asparagus. Alias, I'm headed to winter so I'm all over the comfort foods right now. But this gave me a little hint of spring time. B

  • Reply
    November 28, 2010 at 4:15 am

    I often have a nibble at raw asparagus when I'm preparing it for dinner, and love putting it in salads. Will have to give this one a go!

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