Heirloom Spring Quinoa

We have a great restaurant in downtown Minneapolis called Zelo. I blame them for the love affair I have going with quinoa, a grain I hadn't experienced until after being diagnosed with a wheat intolerance. Holy delicious. And very under-utilized. Everyone I know who tastes it's delicate nuttiness - falls into submissive lust with it. The lure is strong due to it's balanced set of essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein in and of itself. Sweet. Quinoa delivers a hearty dose of magnesium, a mineral that helps relax blood vessels for those prone to migraines. Double sweet. After enjoying their Heirloom Grain Chopped Salad from Zelo, I just had to try to recreate it, gluten-free style.

    1 cup quinoa
    1 cup loosely packed arugula
    6 asparagus spears, blanched, popped into cold water and sliced on the bias
    2 scallions, rinsed and sliced on the bias
    10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
    1/2 avocado, sliced into chunks
    2 ounces dill havarti or fresh provolone cubed into 1/2 " pieces
    8 hearts of palm, chopped into cubes
    2 tbsp lemon peel, microplanes, no pith
    3 Tbsp lemon juice
    3-4 good glugs of olive oil
    2 generous shavings of fresh parmesan to top each serving
  1. Cook quinoa according to directions on package, pour into bowl and stir every so often to cool (make sure you rinse the quinoa first -very important)
  2. Blanch asparagus, shock in ice water and slice on the bias, toss in bowl
  3. Slice scallions thin on the bias, toss in bowl
  4. Halve tomatoes and toss into bowl
  5. Cube avocado, toss into bowl and pour lemon juice over it
  6. Cube havarti or provolone and toss in
  7. Chop hearts of palm and toss in
  8. Microplane lemon peel and toss in
  9. Add in arugula
  10. Pour in olive oil to get a light coat and mix
  11. Salt and pepper to taste and top each serving with a couple shaves of fresh parmesan

    Be grateful for food so pure.


Rochelle said...

Thank you for explaining what quinoa is and how to use it in a recipe. I've heard of it but had no idea what it was. I'm definetly going to try it now. Thank you dear!

lollya said...

You are most welcome. It is really delicious. This salad is light and refreshing and is so yummy with a good Parmesan....wowie!

Let me know if you make it! I'd love to hear what you think.

Sally said...

Hey girl - I found your blog...love it! My youngest, Erin, keeps telling me about quinoa - says I "have to" try it. I think your recipe is a great place to start! Sounds very interesting, and definitely something I would like - and Erin will be glad I found a recipe for her (well, found a recipe I will MAKE FOR her...she still likes to come out to the 'burbs on the weekend to eat mom's cookin'...). Keep those great recipes coming, Lollya - hugs from Krumkake...


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