Sometimes I really have no idea what I’m going to make next for this little old blog of mine. Sometimes I honestly don’t even know what I want to make for dinner at night. This recipe came about from one of those times. I had just returned home from #ChoppedCon14 and desparately needed to go to the store because we had like nothing to eat in our home. I kept thinking that I would make my Parmesan Encrusted Chicken like I had for the last 3 weeks in a row, and I did in fact make that and then created a sweet little post for you guys to enjoy. But I wanted something more, something a little “fall-esque” and definitely something colorful.
I feel like a lot of fall somehow becomes all about pumpkins. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing because I absolutely adore pumpkin-flavored things, but you know when you cook it it’s always orange or brown and I just wanted some more color. Don’t ask my why, because I have no idea. I was just craving it. So I walked in the store and saw the asparagus on sale. Then I saw pomegranates, and then this whole salad sort of just came together in my head in one of those “ah-ha” moments and so I quickly snatched up everything at the store that I needed to make this delicious salad. In case you don’t know the easiest way to get seeds out of a pomegranate…refer back to this post.
I just ate this colorful creation while posting this, but I also have a ton left over so I know I’ll use that as a side for dinner tonight because we have leftover Parmesan Encrusted Chicken but no.sides. #oops.
So anyway, here you go! My beautiful colorful salad that I just can’t get enough of…heading back for seconds…
- 1 cup quinoa cook in 2 cups water (this yielded about 4 cups cooked quinoa)
- 1 small shallot or ½ large shallot, diced
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ bundle of asparagus
- 1 large bowl of ice water (for asparagus blanching)
- 3 cups arugula
- 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- Drizzles of Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil
- 2-3 tablespoons of chopped chives
- pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste
- Mix water and quinoa in a small pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed (I did this the night before and allowed the quinoa to chill in the refrigerator fully before using it in the salad.
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil, add the asparagus and parboil for 2 minutes and immediately toss them in the ice bath to halt the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts by placing them in a small sauté pan and toast for 3 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Once asparagus has cooled in the ice bath, dry off the asparagus with a paper towel and then chop into 2 in. pieces.
- Allow all of your cooked ingredients to cool then mix quinoa, arugula, pomegranate seeds, asparagus, pine nuts, goat cheese and shallots in a large bowl.
- Drizzle with olive oil (be generous and use good olive oil) and add in chives, then toss.
- Drizzle the balsamic over top. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve chilled.