Spring Pea & Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Kale Pesto and Avocado

Pea and Asparagus Quinoa Salad with kale pesto and avocado CarasKitchen.net

About 7 years ago I went to my first farmers market in Santa Monica. It was then that I began to realize that food is seasonal and it gave a whole new meaning to the change in seasons. Although I have spent most of my life between Phoenix and Los Angeles where there really isn’t much varience in season (lets be honest), the colors and variety of produce change from winter to spring to summer to fall. And I love it.

Pea and Asparagus Quinoa Salad with kale pesto and avocado CarasKitchen.netPea and Asparagus Quinoa Salad with kale pesto and avocado CarasKitchen.netPea and Asparagus Quinoa Salad with kale pesto and avocado CarasKitchen.net

Finding asparagus and peas at the farmers market is a sure sign to me that its spring even if when I purchased these ingredients spring equinox was still two days way. It means Easter is around the corner as is my birthday. The latter of which I celebrate with endless abounds… like the entire month lol.

On Sunday we decided to have a mini bday celebration with my parents and brothers since I will be in SF on the actual day and I chose to make this as a side salad for everyone to enjoy. Lets just say its freakin delicious. The pesto really takes it to the next level and this recipe makes about twice what you will need so feel free to enjoy the next day on your avo toast, breakfast salad w/ fried eggs or on pasta. Mmm all so good.

 

Spring Pea & Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Kale Pesto and Avocado

March 21, 2017
Serves 2 as main
Equipment
food processor
Prep time
20m
Cook Time
10m

Ingredients

  • FOR PESTO
  • 4-6 leaves
    kale, de-stemmed, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup
    walnuts
  • 2
    garlic cloves
  • 1/4 Cup
    extra virgin olive oil, more for smoother pesto
  • 1
    medium lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/4 Cup
    cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/2 Teaspoon
    nutritional yeast
  • Pinches
    salt & pepper, to taste
  • FOR THE SALAD
  • 1 Cup
    (heaping) asparagus chopped in 1 inch pieces
  • 3/4 Cups
    green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 Cup
    leek, thinkly sliced on an angle
  • 4 Cups
    salad greens (arugula, kale, romaine, butter) I used kale and arugula
  • 3 Cups
    cooked qunioa
  • 1/4 Cup
    cilantro chopped (any fresh herb will work like basil or mint)
  • 1
    medium lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 Tablespoons
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon
    nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 Teaspoon
    red pepper flakes
  • 1/2
    avocado, cut in cubes
  • chopped cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  1. Start by making the pesto. De-stem kale and put everything into a food processor. Pulse for about 30 seconds. scrap down the sides and continue to pulse 30 more seconds. Scape down sides again and then turn on high until desired consistency is reached.

  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Create and ice bath with ice cubes and water, set aside.

    Chop asparagus into 1 inch pieces, measure out 1 heaping cup full. Once water is boiling add in the peas and asparagus and blanch. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and once bright green transfer to ice bath using a slotted spoon.

  3. In a large bowl combine your lettuce greens, lemon zest and juice, oil, quinoa, leeks, nutritional yeast, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste if desired and toss to evenly coat.

  4. Add in asparagus, peas, avocado cubes and a couple big dollaps of pesto. Divide amongst plates. This would be great with fried eggs, salmon or baked tofu.

    This will serve two as mains or four as side.

sharing is car(a)ingShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestBuffer this pageShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on YummlyEmail this to someone