During my last haircut, I got to talking with my stylist about food and recipes and this blog. He pitched to me his own idea of featuring sets of recipes which share the same ingredients– a sort of batch cooking format. His desire to reduce waste and save money is something I think we can all relate to. I mean, who hasn’t sheepishly watched a bunch of cilantro rot away in the fridge after one night of chana masala? (Cilantro-haters, don’t answer that.) So while this post includes just one recipe, in the spirit of economy and forehandedness, I’m including some suggestions for what to do with the asparagus and chives you don’t use. For the asparagus, try grilling it: heat a grill pan over medium-high heat, when hot spray with a little cooking spray, and cook asparagus, a few minutes per side, until cooked through and slightly charred. Remove from heat and toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. I also love asparagus in pasta dishes. This recipe looks great, as does this (and it uses sunflower seeds, too! I also bet you could substitute chives for the green onion). Or make risotto. This pesto looks like a delicious (and healthful) way to use up chives. And this pizza and this potato salad use both asparagus and chives. Waste not, want not.
*This salad dressing is on the rich side, which complements the grassiness of the asparagus really well. The lemon and hot sauce further balance out the flavors, but if you prefer something lighter, feel free to reduce the amount of oil, or the total amount of dressing overall.
1 cup quinoa
½ cup avocado, grapeseed, or mild olive oil
½ cup lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp finely chopped chives, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard flour
1½ cups cooked /15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
15-18 thin asparagus spears (~½ bunch), rough ends removed, sliced diagonally into 1” pieces
3-4 tbsp sunflower seeds
couple splashes of your favorite hot sauce, optional
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a fine mesh sieve, rinse quinoa until the water runs clear. Drain. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil in a small saucepan and add quinoa. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until quinoa smells toasty and water has evaporated. Add 1½ cups water and a little salt, turn up heat to high. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat but keep lid on for another 15 minutes, then remove lid, fluff with a fork, and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile make the dressing: in a tightly closed jar, shake together vigorously the avocado (or other) oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, chives, shallot, garlic powder, mustard flour, and some salt and pepper.
- Add chickpeas, asparagus, sunflower seeds, lemon-chive dressing, and hot sauce (if using), to cooled quinoa, and stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper, and top with a little extra chopped chives.
Yield: 5-6 servings