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Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Feta, and Pine Nuts

adapted from Style at Home

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large bunch baby asparagus stalks cut off and cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives chopped
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese + more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly with cool water for at least 2 minutes; drain.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the drained quinoa and cook, stirring, for 1 minute to toast the grains and evaporate any remaining water.
  3. Stir in the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook for 15 minutes.Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside.
  4. Steam the asparagus for 2 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Transfer the asparagus to a colander and rinse under ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
  5. When cool, combine the quinoa, asparagus, olives, onion and feta cheese in a large bowl.
  6. Whisk together the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and basil in a small bowl. Add sea salt and pepper.
  7. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Top with the additional crumbled feta cheese and toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.