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QUINOA ASPARAGUS AND ALMOND SALAD

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Makes 5 1/2 cups

This recipe necessitates two pots of boiling water – one to cook the quinoa and the other for blanching the asparagus. For efficiency bring the respective amounts of water to boil at the same time. While the quinoa is cooking you can blanch the asparagus and toast the almonds.

1-1/2 cups water

1 cup Grainworks organic quinoa

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 lb blanched asparagus, see instructions below

2 quarts water

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp tarragon

1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped

1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper

1/4 cup chopped parsley

To cook the quinoa:

Bring water to a boil over high heat in a small sauce pan. Meanwhile rinse the quinoa as described in the above text. Stir the quinoa and salt into the boiling water, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 14 – 18 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Pour quinoa into a large bowl and set aside to cool.

To blanch and prepare the asparagus:

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Fill a large bowl or sink with cold water. You will need this water to plunge the asparagus into after they are cooked to arrest the cooking. To clean the asparagus gently rub the stalks while holding them under running water. Remove two to three inches of the tougher pulpy spear at the bottom. Once the water has come to a boil, place the asparagus into the water and cook until the asparagus turns a bright green. The time this will take will depend on how thick your asparagus stalks are. Count on between 1 – 3 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the pot with a slotted spoon or tongs and immediately plunge into the cold water. Drain the asparagus and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

To assemble the salad:

Combine the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, tarragon and pepper in a small bowl, stir and pour over the cooled quinoa. Add the almonds, red pepper and parsley and stir well. Adjust the seasoning and serve.