Behold, non-wimpy asparagus!
Normally I don’t consider asparagus to be one of the most exciting vegetables, but it always surprises me every time I make it. I enjoy it way more than I think I do. A simple, light sauté leaves it tender, but still crisp and fresh. I find it turns out best when I cook it a bit less time than I think I should. Less is more with this guy! I’ve made the mistake of cooking the hell out of it in the past and it’s something I try not to repeat.
A few notes about asparagus:
- Look for firm spears that don’t bend easily. Asparagus doesn’t tend to last very long, so it’s best consumed within 48 hours of purchasing. When you bring it home, wrap the stems in a damp paper towel to extend freshness.
- Asparagus may aid in digestion thanks to its inulin content which is said to function as a “prebiotic”
- In 1 cup of raw asparagus you’ll receive Vitamin K (69.6% Daily Value), Vitamin A (20.2% DV), Folate (17.4% DV), Iron (15.7% DV), Vitamin B1 (12.6% DV), Vitamin C (12.5% DV), 3 grams protein, 2.75 grams fibre, and more.
- It can act as a diuretic causing you to lose more fluid than normal. Be sure to get enough water throughout the day.
- Asparagus is anti-inflammatory thanks to its large composition of anti-inflammatory nutrients.
- Source: World’s Healthiest Foods
Since spring produce seems to be picking up speed around here, I’m celebrating my first spring recipe of the season today – a warm spring salad featuring asparagus, leek, peas, strawberries, and lots of parsley all tossed in a simple lemon olive oil dressing. Easy, light, and super refreshing. If you’d like to add even more protein than what the quinoa + veggies provide I’m sure it would be nice with some white beans, chickpeas, or French lentils thrown in too. Eric also suggested we sprinkle some seeds on top – pumpkin and hemp – and that was a very nice addition!
Keep in mind that the strawberries will turn the quinoa a pinkish hue once tossed. If this is a concern or if you are making this in advance, I suggest adding the strawberries on just before serving.
Cheers to crunchy, fresh spring salads!
Warm Spring Salad
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free
Email, text, or print this recipe
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or try speltberries, but note they are not GF)
- 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, sliced into rounds or half moons
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup diced strawberries (optional)
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
- 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste
- lemon zest, for garnish
1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover with tight-fitting lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Fluff with fork, remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, grab a very large skillet or wok. Sauté the leek and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the strawberries (optional), peas, and parsley. Heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.
3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt) to taste. Pour dressing onto skillet mixture and stir in the cooked quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper & enjoy! This would also be lovely with nuts or seeds sprinkled on top.
Oh, I forgot to mention – this is also fantastic served cold too!
I recently started reading your blog and have already made a handful of your recipes…all of which have been so good! I found out two years ago that I’m allergic to dairy and decided a few months ago to try out vegan. I’m absolutely loving it and feel better than I ever have; so now I’m trying to get my husband on board but he is super against tofu (I try to explain to him that there is more to being vegan than just eating tofu!). Anyway, I saw this yesterday and had all the ingredients at home so I whipped it up last night and it was AMAZING. And best of all…my husband LOVED it! I found your recipe for the crispy tofu and going to try that on him next…fingers crossed I’ve got him converted! Thanks for making my switch to vegan so easy with all these amazing recipes!
Hey Rebecca, Oh I’m so happy to hear that it was a hit! Thank you so much for letting me know & goodluck with all of your vegan goals!
I am SO excited for this meal Ang! I just hit up my farmers market and I scored fresh peas! This meal will be perfect for them.
Thanks for such a perfect Spring dish indeed!
A friend sent me one of your blog posts and I love it, so here I am visiting your site. I can’t seem to find a spot to sign up to be on your mailing list though. Do you do that? I would love to join if you do. I’m not much of a FB user so would love to receive your posts.
Hey Clare! Thanks for your kind words…so glad you found the blog! As for signing up, yes you certainly can. Do you see the icons at the top right sidebar of my page? There is one for email (to have my posts mailed to you) Hope this helps! Oh and you can also subscribe by RSS there too.
Your photography is amazing, everything looks so sharp, vibrant and fresh. I also like the idea of pink quinoa being potentially “concerning”.
LOL…you never know right.
Yum!!!! I made this today and it is soooo good! I love how the strawberries add a pop of colour and also some nice flavour! Thanks for another great recipe!
Interesting Salad with veggies, fruit and grains
Well….Angela…you did it again…..really tasty….will definitely make it again and again. I am so looking forward to your cookbook. I wanted to ask you, at the beginning of last year, I subscribed to a newsletter with your blog but never received any newsletters. Was that something that was put on the back burner????
Just made this for dinner! So amazing!!!!
I brought this to a Spring potluck lunch at work today and it was a hit. I have several comments on how pretty it looked and how tasty it was. Many commented that they would have never put strawberries and asparagus together but it all went together very well. thanks for the timely post!
Hi Sherry, I’m so happy it was a hit! Thanks for letting me know :) Happy dance
Oh my, this looks so vibrant, fresh, and delicious! I love every single one of these ingredients :)
I made this and it was/is DELICIOUS! both hot and cold!
thank you for sharing great healthy recipes
So glad you enjoyed it Vanessa!
YUM! Made this last night. I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to like the warm strawberries, but it created a perfect addition of flavour and looked beautiful!
I also added some edamame to the mix….
One question for you: My boyfriend loves everything that I make, including this salad last night…. but he’s always so hungry after! Do you have this problem with Eric? Any tips?
This looks super yummy! Love your blog– the pictures are gorgeous! You make being vegan and healthy look so accessible.
Thank you Annie!
It’s kid approved! Just add a few extra strawberries on top, chop the asparagus into small pieces, and they think it’s a SPECIAL dinner :) At least my three little ones (6 and under) did… The parents enjoyed it on a bed of mixed greens.
Wonderful recipe! I love the colors, too! Great!
I’ve never tasted quinoa but your photos make me want to rush and buy some..Beautiful..
Can bulgur be substituted for it?
This is SO DELICIOUS! We had asparagus and strawberries in our produce box this week — thanks for the great use of them! I’m keeping this one for future dinners!
Wow this recipe looks delicious! Think I will try this one out as I love asparagus and a big fan of fruit in salads. :)
I made this for dinner last night…..soooo delicious!
My 17 year old daughter loved it as well!
So glad to hear that! Thanks for letting me know :)
This salad was delicious! This is the first of your recipes that I’ve tried and won’t be the last. I’m new to cooking after years of eating like crap. Throw in trying to eat vegan, and I’ve got a big ole challenge on my hands. But I am now confident that I can make delicious meals thanks to you! And someday I might get crazy and actually cook for someone other than myself. I send much gratitude to you.
Delicious. It’s a mouf party. I added chopped almonds (dry roasted no salt). Thank you!
I just made this salad for an early lunch and I LOVE it. I’m not usually a big parsley fan, but it adds such a nice freshness and actually goes really well with both asparagus and strawberries. Also, I have started subbing millet for quinoa after seeing a few of your other recipes using millet, so I used leftover millet in this salad instead of quinoa. Very yummy!
This was so good! Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely be making this again…
This looks like a fantastic recipe, healthy and filling! I liked your comments on cooking with asparagus, which I have grown to love the past few years. I’ve always grilled or baked it, but recently discovered how much I like it blanched and cooled in an ice bath. It turns out perfect. Thanks for the recipe!
I made this for dinner last night, including the strawberries and it was great! I didn’t use oil to sautee the veggies and I only used 1.5 T oil in the dressing. We also ate it over a bed of spinach. Thanks for the yummy recipe!
Made this last night (minus strawberries) and it was excellent!
This looks awesome! I am always looking for new ways to make asparagus. It is my all time fav!
Yum! Making this tomorrow, but will probably add chickpeas to it :)
I have been following your blog for some time now… in fact I’ve made dozens of your recipes with absolutely NO disappointment so thank you for that. I am excited to try this exciting salad. I used leeks a few weeks ago and simply planted the “stumps” in my garden and POOF! they are thriving! There is something pretty awesome about using the veggies from my garden (especially since most came from scraps. It feels like a two-for-one kind of deal)
This was great! Made it last night but subbed a1/2 the parsley with fresh mint. Soo good.!
love that idea Sarah! I will have to try that :)
This was delicious, I made it with the strawberries but without the peas. Hubby didn’t case for it but baby did. We liked it even better the second day!
Wow Angela you did it again! Just made this and it was absolutely fabulous. Used red quinoa and added fresh basil. Loved the strawberries in there as well. Your cookbook cannot come out soon enough!
Just wanted to let you know that the recipe suggestion of switching the quinoa for spelt berries changes the salad from gluten free to gluten heavy. Spelt contains gluten. I have Celiac Disease and miss being able to eat spelt. Lovely salad otherwise.
Hi Cathleen, Yes you are so right, I totally forgot to put that in. Thanks for the tip – will update it now!
I am not vegan but I have a great appreciation for vegan options and the growing diversity of meals that the vegan community is putting out there. My husband and I will be having this for dinner tonight and I can’t wait!
So happy I stumbled across your blog!
I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. I can’t wait to have leftovers for lunch today. Thanks!
I made this today and it was *fantastic*!!! I’m trying to transition to a vegan diet and working at trying new recipes. I had a business associate here at my home office and I fed him some too..and he loved it as well. Thanks so much! Score!
I loved this so much! I replaced the peas with edamame as that’s what I had on hand and it tasted incredible, thank you! xx
I made this salad last week. It was amazing. Very fresh, with the asparagus and the strawberries, and the dressing was very light and refreshing. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes.
This is a very inspirational recipe! It doesn’t just look good because of the pictures you have with the article but it looks easy to prepare and very nutritious. Thank you for taking time to make this wonderful salad recipe, I will surely try this!
My husband and I loved this salad! I was apprehensive about warm strawberries…but everything went so well together! This is a keeper!
I stumbled upon your blog the other night and I cant stop reading it! Tonight i decided to make my first “official” vegan recipe – this was the best salad I have made in a long time! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes – if any of the others are even half as good I will be 100% happy!
Made this last night for supper. Hubby was skeptical about the entire salad, but has decided to support my return to vegan eating by eating along with me. He loved it (as did I)! He was so relieved that supper turned out so yummy and while it was satisfying, still left room to munch on a Magical Coconut Bar that I had made earlier in the week. I stumbled across your blog and have become a huge fan in a very short amount of time (I am telling everyone about it!). Onto the next recipe tonight for supper. Thanks Angela!
Hi Rhoda, Aw thank you that makes me so happy!
I was at Bulk Barn last night picking up a few more things for my growing vegan pantry and was chatting with the cashier about your blog and amazing recipes and two ladies in the cash line behind me piped up to say “I love her!!!” and “what amazing recipes!”. I had to share how cool that was to hear that random strangers know about your blog and that we all feel the same way about what you are offering to the world. Made the ratatouille last night and it was awesome. Tonight is the Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto. Can’t wait!
When our local asparagus farmer opened the sale shack I ran right over to get what I needed to try this recipe. It is wonderful and I’m so looking forward to trying more of your yummy creations! My husband thanks you too, he loves this salad.
What a fabulous recipe. It’s got lots of flavor and it’s so full of yummy ingredients. My spouse and I both loved it. Thanks!! :)
Thank you so much for this recipe!!! It was fantastic!!! I made it for dinner tonight, and it was one of the best dinners I have ever made! Seriously- so good! That lemon dressing was DIVINE! What else could that go with? Yum! Even my firefighter husband raved about this dish! (I even caught him licking the bowl, which is totally embarrassing!) THANK YOU!
haha that’s awesome!! Thanks for letting me know :)
It was delicious. Just made it after church and it didn’t take to long to make. You know how after church your first thought is “I”m hungry.” I think the strawberries are not optional though. Yey! Thanks for another great recipe. This website has been a blessing to me and my husband.
I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband and 17-month-old. What a great way to take advantage of all the amazing spring produce that’s so organic and fresh right now. We’ll be making this a lot while asparagus and strawberries are in season…and taking it to friends’ houses. Thanks for yet another great recipe!
Yum- I make this salad all the time! I add a little balsamic to the dreading because I love it paired with strawberries :)
Thanks for this recipe. I tried it tonight and found it to be very tasty and oh so colourful. (My hubby enjoyed it too) My only complaint would be that there was nothing left over to be served cold the next day! ;-) I might double the quantities next time. And there will DEFINITELY be a next time.