Warm Quinoa Salad with Shrimp and Asparagus
Okay, so this recipe is called a “salad”…but I’m not sure if that’s what I would call it because that would put more emphasis on the quinoa’s presence. Really, this dish has a lot of contributors that are key players in making it fantastic.
This was another weeknight dinner for me (apologies for the late post!) and while it is meant to be a side, I found it to be a perfect entree for two. With the shrimp, asparagus, roasted cashews and quinoa, this is a really well balanced meal and leaves you happy and satisfied.
The original recipe calls for roasted cashews, and because I couldn’t find any in the store, I roasted them myself by preheating the oven to 400°F, lining a tray with foil and evenly spreading the cashews on it. Then, I let them roast for about 5 minutes, or until nicely golden. Keep an eye out though, they will go from golden to burnt very quickly! Additionally, I used jarred sun-dried tomatoes, meaning that they were already reconstituted in oil, rather than the unreconstituted tomatoes they asked for. While I tried not to include that much of the oil, it really added another flavor kick to the dish that I especially enjoyed. Lastly, go for a sweet California chardonnay to use as the unspecified white wine. While they are overly saccharine to drink, they are perfect for use in cooking.
Warm Quinoa Salad with Shrimp and Asparagus – Serves 2 or 4 as a side (adapted from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook)
1 Tbsp olive oil; 2 cloves garlic (minced); 1/2 medium yellow onion; 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (julienned); 1/2 cup water; 1/2 cup white wine; 1/8 cup lemon juice; 1 Tbsp lemon zest; 1/2 tsp. ground pepper; salt to taste; 1/2 cup quinoa; 1/2 lb. shrimp (peeled and deveined); 1/2 pound asparagus (cut into 1 inch pieces, discard woody bottoms); 1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces; 6 scallions (minced); 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic and onion for 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and continue to sauté for another minute. Add water, white wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, pepper and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in the quinoa and simmer on low heat with the sauce pan covered for 20 minutes, or until quinoa is almost tender to bite.
Add shrimp to saucepan on top of the quinoa, simmer for 3 more minutes. Add asparagus on top of shrimp, simmer for 3 minutes. Top dish with the roasted cashew pieces, scallions and chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.,