There are local strawberries, asparagus, dill, cucumbers, and radishes in this vegan asparagus quinoa salad – the only things I couldn’t get from the region were the beans and the actual quinoa. Isn’t spring the best? The dressing is a simple lemon mustard vinaigrette, and the fresh dill pulls it all together.
It’s a pretty straightforward recipe, but really using all the best produce of spring. This is another great lunch idea or speedy dinner, even faster if your quinoa is cooked ahead of time.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Quinoa: any colour of quinoa can be used, but plain white quinoa looks best with the other ingredients. Make sure to rinse it before cooking if it’s not pre-rinsed.
- Beans: this is optional, but adds a big boost of protein to the dish and a nice creamy texture. Use butter beans, smaller white beans, or chickpeas.
- Radishes: if you don’t like them, leave the radishes out. You could sub something milder like kohlrabi in if preferred.
- Dill: a smaller amount of dried dill can be substituted for fresh, but try to use fresh if you can. Sub other herbs like parsley or basil if you’d rather.
Here’s how to efficiently cook the asparagus: once the quinoa is done, turn off the heat and place the chopped asparagus on top of the quinoa in the pot. Cover with the lid and leave it to rest for about five minutes. The residual heat will cook the asparagus perfectly.
How to Store
Storage: leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a day or two, but note that the strawberries will soften and become less palatable the longer the salad is stored.
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
- Cool the quinoa: while it doesn’t need to be cold, it’s best if the quinoa is cooled for at least 15 minutes before mixing with the vegetables. Asparagus is fine, of course, but warm cucumbers aren’t for everyone.
- Use ripe strawberries: but not over-ripe. If they’re too soft, they’ll soften even more when mixed into the salad, and will taste unpleasant.
- Rinse the quinoa: while this might not be necessary, quinoa is coated in a bitter substance that needs to be rinsed at some point. Many suppliers now rinse it before it’s packaged to be sold and usually note on the package if that’s the case.
More Main Dish Salads
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Asparagus Quinoa Salad
- 140 grams dry quinoa
- 12 thin stalks asparagus roughly chopped
- 250 grams white beans or chickpeas cooked or canned, rinsed well
- 250 grams strawberries halved
- 1 bunch radishes quartered (~200 grams)
- 1 cucumber sliced in half rounds
Lemon Dill Vinaigrette
- Small handful dill chopped, ~ 1/4 cup
- 60 ml olive oil
- Juice of a lemon ~ 3 tablespoons
- Zest of a lemon
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper to taste
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions, and add the chopped asparagus for the last minute to cook slightly (see recipe notes above). Remove the quinoa from the heat and let it cool for several minutes before adding the other elements.140 grams dry quinoa, 12 thin stalks asparagus
- Add the quinoa, asparagus, beans, strawberries, radishes, and cucumber to a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette. Stir to combine, and serve at room temperature or cold. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a day, maybe two if the strawberries aren't too ripe.250 grams white beans or chickpeas, 250 grams strawberries, 1 bunch radishes, 1 cucumber
Lemon Dill Vinaigrette
- Add all ingredients to a lidded jar or bowl. Shake well or whisk until fully combined and slightly thickened.Small handful dill, 60 ml olive oil, Juice of a lemon, Zest of a lemon, 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup or honey, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.