Celebrate the freshness of spring with Vibrant Spring Quinoa Salad! Packed with veggies and tossed with a simple homemade lemon-chive dressing, this easy, tasty salad is perfect for brunch, lunch, or as a side.
Is it spring yet? Because I'm ready. Sometimes I'm a little hesitant to jump right into the next season before we're done with the current season. Especially in the food blogging world it seems like we're always skipping onto the next thing, which sometimes bothers me. But in this case I'm all for being done with winter and moving along with spring. It's been raining buckets here in Portland and we're all trying to be good little Northwesterners and pretend like it's no big deal. But seriously. Enough already.
Regardless of the rain, one of my favorite parts of spring is how beautiful the food gets. All the lovely little green things, all sprouty, and fresh, and vibrant, and new. Beautiful spring things inspired this salad, in fact. I wanted to create a quinoa salad that would be fitting for a light lunch and special enough for Easter brunch, and it only took a few minutes to daydream up this vibrant collection.
What's better, this salad is totally DIY. Use whatever spring goodies you have--grab whatever looks good at the farmer's market, from your garden, or at the local store. I love using pea shoots, but if you can't find them feel free to leave them out. Radishes can be a strong flavor for some, so if you don't like them leave those out, too. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on fresh spring peas, by all means use them here. If not, use frozen defrosted like l did. The results will still be lovely.
This salad makes a really nice light lunch, side dish, or brunch option. You could add some rinsed, canned chickpeas or white beans to bump up the protein if you like, which would make it a more substantial standalone meal. Or top the salad with a fried egg and extra drizzle of olive oil. Yum! Some crumbled feta or goat cheese would also go along nicely here. Feel free to make it your own. Now, let's make some spring quinoa salad!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Use whatever veggies you like and skip the ones you don't.
2 | Hold aside some cooked quinoa and serve is plain, sprinkled a little salt, along with the chopped raw veggies for resistant eaters.
3 | Add some crumbled feta or goat cheese.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Vegetarian
Vibrant Spring Quinoa Salad
1 ½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh sweet peas (or frozen, defrosted)
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
½ cup chopped parsley
½ cup pea sprouts
For the dressing
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 large lemons)
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon raw honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Add the quinoa and 2 ½ cups water to a medium saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, chives, honey, salt, and olive oil until well combined.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the cooked quinoa, peas, carrots, radishes, parsley, and pea sprouts. Pour over the dressing and stir until well combined. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes about 7 cups.
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