Earlier in the week I made an asparagus and ramp pesto and the first thing that I used it in was a pasta dish. While I was enjoying the pesto pasta my mind wandered as I was thinking about what to do with the remaining pesto and the next thing I knew I was thinking about quinoa salads. I had also recently had fresh baby artichoke hearts for the first time and I wanted to use them again and I had thought that they might go well in a quinoa salad. Inspiration struck! How about mixing the asparagus and ramp pesto into the artichoke quinoa salad? The pesto packs a ton of flavour and it would just make the salad! With the basics down I decided to bulk the salad up a bit with some chickpeas and since there was already some asparagus there in the pesto I figured adding some more would fit right in. I could not resist finishing the salad off with some salty feta. The asparagus and baby artichoke quinoa salad with asparagus and ramp pesto and feta turned out amazingly well! It was nice and light and fluffy and moist and tender and just full of tasty fresh spring flavours! With just a minute or two in the microwave, the leftovers were just as good the next day. I imagine that any kind of pesto would work well in a whole grain salad like this.
Asparagus and Baby Artichoke Quinoa Salad(makes 4 servings)
8 baby artichokes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1/2 cup asparagus and ramp pesto or asparagus pesto or pesto
1/2 pound asparagus (trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces and blanched)
1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup feta (crumbled)
1 splash lemon juice
1. Peel the leaves from the artichokes until you get to the paler tender inner leaves. Cut the top third off and discard and cut the artichoke in half.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Add the artichoke hearts and saute until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
4. Add the quinoa and broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
5. Mix everything and serve
Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Pasta
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Thai Style Black Quinoa Salad