Spring quinoa with asparagus and kale

I can smell spring.  Can you?

The green grocers are just beginning to display their beautiful spring wares.  Asparagus, peas, artichokes, oh my!

This quinoa salad is a perfect introduction to spring.  Be creative! Try adding some fresh peas when you add the asparagus in place of the kale.  Make this recipe with other grains if you prefer.  It’s all yours, so have fun!

spring quinoa with asparagus and kale

This springtime quinoa salad is perfect as a side dish to any meal or a light lunch. Make sure that the asparagus and kale are sliced in time for the last two minutes of the quinoa cooking.
Servings 6 people


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 1⁄2 cups cold water
  • Kosher salt
  • 10 spears of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 6-8 kale leaves, ribs removed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp EACH minced parsley, minced basil and minced mint
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • ½ tsp stone-ground mustard (omit on Passover)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Maldon sea salt for sprinkling


  • Put the quinoa in a medium sauce pan or pot with water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Watch the quinoa carefully, do not let it cook on high heat once it boils. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer and cook for 13 minutes.
  • In the meantime, slice the asparagus thinly (about 1⁄4 inch) on an angle, set aside. Stack the kale leaves on top on one another and roll them up like a carpet. Slice them thinly so you have thin ribbons.
  • When the quinoa timer is up, quickly add the kale and then the asparagus to the pot—DO NOT STIR— put the lid back on and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let it steam for another minute or so before taking the lid off. Open the lid and, with a fork, very gently toss the quinoa from the bottom, 3-4 times. Let cool uncovered while you prepare the dressing.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the lemon juice, herbs, garlic, capers, mustard (if using), oil and pepper.
  • Add the quinoa to the bowl, gently toss. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and serve warm or at room temperature.