This salad is a good example of something that we eat a lot, changing out the vegetables for whatever's in season locally. Right now that means everything green, and radishes. Wild garlic/ramps/bärlauch grows extensively in forested areas and it's available from March to May. You can buy it at farmers' markets at this time of year and it can also be grown in your garden - but if you're gathering it yourself, just remember to be cautious and not to over harvest. Wild garlic has a strong garlicky taste that goes really well with this salad. If you can't find any you can just use your favourite pesto recipe with some avocado blended into it, and a little extra garlic (but please try to seek out wild garlic for this recipe!).
You can, of course, use different vegetables based on what you have on hand. Green asparagus isn't quite ready yet so I avoided using it in this recipe, but you could add it if you'd like. You could add spinach or chard, broccoli, fiddleheads, snow peas, or any other green vegetables. Substitute another grain like millet or amaranth for the quinoa, add lentils, do whatever you want. The dressing/sauce is what makes this dish special and it's also very good on bread, crackers, and everything else we were eating. So if nothing else, make the sauce and put it on everything.
It might be worth noting that Graham and I ate this whole salad for lunch. If you're serving it as a side to something else (try falafel with it) then it will probably serve four people quite easily. If you're starving because someone had to photograph the salad before eating it, then it only serves two.
Spring Greens Salad with Wild Garlic
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 leek, cut into 1 cm thick rounds
2 small zucchinis, halved and sliced
1 cup radish greens or fresh spinach
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
Small bunch of wild garlic
Place the quinoa, water, and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Set it aside while you finish the vegetables.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat a pan over medium heat with the coconut oil. Add the leeks and zucchini, and cook for about 2 minutes or until lightly golden and softened. Stir in the radish greens and cook for an additional 30 seconds, then add the peas and garlic. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat and place a lid on the pan to gently cook the peas and ramps.
Thinly slice the radishes and cut the avocado into cubes. To assemble the salad, place the cooked quinoa onto a serving platter and top with the cooked vegetables, radishes, and avocado. Place spoonfuls of the wild garlic sauce over the salad and serve warm, with extra sauce on the side.
Wild Garlic and Avocado Sauce
1 bunch wild garlic, about 50 grams
Small bunch fresh basil
2 lemons, juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the wild garlic, basil, avocado, and lemon juice to a small blender or food processor. Blend until fully combined, and then slowly pour in the olive oil while blending until incorporated. If you can't blend/pour at the same time, then add the olive oil in four increments, blending each time. Season to taste and serve. This keeps well in the fridge for up to two days.