Today I’m sharing a new (old?) favorite recipe for a meal we’ve been defaulting to at least once per week the last several weeks. A bowl of grains or starch, farmer’s market greens, some crunch, a protein, and a simple dressing. We haven’t done it for breakfast yet, but it’s become a lunch and dinner staple. And to be honest, I think it’d be incredible with an egg tossed on top for brekky.
This version utilizes ramps and asparagus, both of which will be disappearing from market soon. When you try to eat mostly seasonally (and locally), you start to have a deep appreciation for those items that are only available for a short window of time every year. Ramps are one of those items. They’re a wild variety of onion, and are sometimes called wild leeks. They have a mild garlicky flavor, and I love sautéing them to mellow out the raw flavor. In this area of the country, ramps grow from early spring to early summer (April through May or possibly early June).
One of my favorite West Virginia farms, Bigg Riggs Farm, faithfully forages these each spring, and brings them to market. I practically squeal when I see their “WV ramps” sign pop up at market. This quinoa salad proudly features Bigg Riggs Farm ramps, along with their asparagus. Two tasty, springtime additions to my go-to quinoa salad. Add a handful of pea shoots from Shenandoah Seasonal, and you’re basically eating spring in a bowl.
Also included in my salad is my favorite mealtime hack: Costco’s salmon burgers. We don’t eat very much fish, but salmon is something I’m always snatching up when I find a good deal. Costco has Wild Alaskan salmon burgers in their frozen department, and they’re GOLD! No fillers, just salmon, and they are the perfect solution for being unprepared at lunchtime or dinnertime. Which is ALL THE TIME FOR ME!
Without further ado, here are the details for my go-to meal, springtime edition:
Spring Quinoa Salad with Ramps, Asparagus, Radishes, and Salmon
Heat olive oil in skillet on low-medium heat, then sauté ramps. I like to go low and slow with the ramps, since you want the bulb to get slightly tender, but don’t want to completely destroy the ramp leaves.
When ramps are done, lightly sauté asparagus ribbons in same skillet.
Assemble salad by placing the following in each bowl:: 1/3 cup quinoa, 1 salmon burger, torn into small pieces, half the asparagus, half the ramps, 1/2 cup pea shoots, a drizzle of lemon juice, hemp hearts, half the thyme blossoms or thyme leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Depending on how oily your ramps and asparagus are, you may want a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Enjoy this incredibly light – yet substantial – springy quinoa salad!
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