Spring tabouli salad with asparagus and quinoa

A delicious recipe for Spring Tabouli Salad with quinoa, asparagus, English peas,  fresh dill, parsley, lemon, toasted almonds and optional goat or feta. A healthy, flavorful spring salad that can be made ahead- perfect for special gatherings or midweek lunches! GF &  Vegan adaptable! 

Here’s a simple spring-inspired Tabouli salad to pair with all the grilling that might be happening this weekend. It’s designed to be flexible- in that, you can use most any seasonal veggie you have – even it’s just as simple as greens and radishes! The Tabouli Salad will still taste amazing!

Here I’ve used quinoa instead of bulgar wheat, spring asparagus, fresh English peas, sliced almonds, quinoa, dill, parsley, scallions, crumbled goat cheese and beautiful little sunflower sprouts. Simple and tasty! The dill brings this up a notch!

We spent a night camping this week up in Hope, Idaho, on Lake Pend Oreille. Brian just looked at the weather, and said, let’s go, and so we did. The campground next to the lake was practically empty.  We set up camp and walked down to the shore and watched the water become as still as glass, while the sun slowly dipped behind the snow-dusted mountains.

And just like every other sunset, I’ve ever watched, this one was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. We made a simple dinner, Veggies and Tofu, which, when the camp host came by and asked, what was for dinner, he couldn’t begin to fathom – what? Tofu?? No meat?  We got a good chuckle!

We made a fire and listened to its beautiful crackle and watched the trees overhead sway in the night sky, cradling the glowing half moon. I could feel the world turning.

No cell service, no netflix, nothing to dilute or distract from the brilliant presence of nature. In the morning we kayaked the calm quiet water, exploring its rocky shores, until complete exhaustion, then packed up and came home. A 24 hour camping trip. It’s a new thing we’ve been doing lately. A little sabbatical for the mind… I highly  recommend it!!!

Spring Tabouli Salad with Quinoa and Asparagus – with your choice of spring veggies, infused with fresh dill, lemon, sliced almonds and crumbly goat or feta (optional). A healthy, flavorful side dish that can be made ahead- perfect for barbecues, potlucks and outdoor gatherings.

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Salads, Vegetarian
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Northwest

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa ( dry)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups shelled fresh English peas ( available at Trader Joes) or substitute shelled edamame, radishes, cucumber, snow peas or even spring greens.
  • 3 scallions – thinly sliced at a diagonal
  • ½ cup fresh dill ( 2 x .5 ounces packages) chopped  ( or sub Italian parsley)
  • ½ cup Italian parsley, more to taste.
  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted ( optional, or sub other nut or seed)

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice  ( 1–2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

Optional garnishes- crumbled goat cheese or feta, sliced avocado, sunflower sprouts or pea shoots, flower petals- chive blossoms are nice.

Instructions

Rinse the quinoa and place it in a pot with the water and pinch salt. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat, and allow it to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, and let sit covered for 5 -10 minutes, then uncover, fluff with a fork and let it cool.While the quinoa is cooking, blanch the peas and asparagus in salted boiling water for just a few minutes, until bright and tender. Rinse under cold water.Place the cooled quinoa and blanched veggies in a bowl. Add the scallions, dill and almonds and give a toss. Add the oil, lemon zest and juice and salt and stir again.Taste, adjust salt and lemon, adding more if you like.Serve with any garnishes you like.

Notes

If making this ahead – be sure to taste this right before serving and adjust salt and lemon once more -because quinoa has a tendency to soak up all the flavor! Wait until serving to add any cheese, sprouts or avocado, so salad looks beautiful and fresh.

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