Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Vegetable Quinoa

We went to New Hampshire to celebrate my Mom's birthday this past weekend.  The plan was for everyone to help with cleaning up their yard, pruning, weeding, and planting for the summer.  Everyone else worked very hard and I stood around chatting with my sister and held the baby.  I did do some cooking, though.  We had salmon for dinner, and I brought along this Spring Vegetable Quinoa. 

I'm not even sure if mushrooms are Spring vegetables.  I have absolutely no idea when mushrooms are in season, but, as you know, I've been on a mushroom kick lately, so in they went.

Spring Vegetable Quinoa

2 cups quinoa, rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth (I think you could cut this down to 3 1/2 cups, mine was a little soupier than I wanted.)
3 small shallots, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
Olive oil
16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-2 inch pieces
1 cup fresh spring peas (or 1 cup frozen peas, thawed)
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced

In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add the shallot and onion and saute for a minute or two.
Add in quinoa and cook for one minute, stirring.
Pour in vegetable broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, in a saute or frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add in mushrooms and cook until sauteed but not mushy, about 5 minutes.
Depending on the thickness of your asparagus, add this to the pan to cook until crisp-tender.  My asparagus stalks were pretty thick, so I added them at the same time as the mushrooms.  Then I got distracted by my kitchen helper and they got a little overcooked, so don't go wandering off while they're in the pan.
Combine cooked quinoa, mushrooms, asparagus, green onions and peas.
Stir in lemon zest and juice.

This is a great make-ahead dish, as it can be served either warm or at room temperature.   If you want to add a little something to it for serving, I recommend roasted sunflower seeds (my latest addiction), raisins, balsamic vinegar, or goat cheese.  Or all four. 


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