Quinoa and Pea Shoot Salad with Cauliflower, Asparagus and Strawberries

Quinoa and Pea Shoot Salad with Cauliflower, Asparagus and Strawberries | www.floatingkitchen.net
  • Quinoa and Pea Shoot Salad with Cauliflower, Asparagus and Strawberries
  • Quinoa and Pea Shoot Salad with Cauliflower, Asparagus and Strawberries
Posted on April 6, 2015

Today I’m excited to be talking about something that I’m super passionate about: seasonal eating.

Growing up in a family of farmers, and in a part of the world with four very distinct seasons (five if you count “mud season”), I’ve always been hyper aware of the natural rhythms that shape any given year. As a child, I eagerly anticipated the mysteries that seemed to unfold with each new season. And as an adult, the changing patterns have a major impact on every aspect of my life, including what I prepare and consume in my kitchen.

I admit sometimes it’s hard for me to resist a plump, juicy red raspberry in the dead of winter. But the majority of the time, I’m committed to shopping, cooking and eating based on my knowledge of what produce is currently available. Because I know that seasonal eating is good for my body, for my wallet and for the environment.

So when Becky asked me to join her and her group of Eat Seasonal food bloggers, I was more than delighted at the opportunity.

At the start of each month, Becky provides an illustrated guide (which you can download to your desktop or phone) detailing which fruits and vegetables are best to enjoy that month. You can check out her April Eat Seasonal Guide here. Then we create and share recipes using that guide, in hopes to further inspire each other in the kitchen AND to inspire you as well. Pretty cool.

4Apr

I knew I wanted to create a salad for April’s Eat Seasonal recipe. Because, well, I’ve had one too many jelly beans and marshmallow bunnies than I care to admit to on this blog. Just keeping it real folks.

I imagined roasting up some asparagus and cauliflower, two of my all time favorite vegetables, and placing them on a bed of mixed greens. Then I spotted the pea shoots. I couldn’t resist those curly, whimsical tendrils poking out of the sides of their container, almost looking like they were trying to escape the confines of the plastic. So of course, I snatched them up and took them home with me. And they quickly became one of the star players in this Quinoa and Pea Shoot Salad with Cauliflower, Asparagus and Strawberries.

Cauliflower-Asparagus-Strawberry-Salad-3

And it’s THAT moment right there that is exactly why I love seasonal eating. I relish in the excitement that comes from finding something at the grocery store or farmers market that you haven’t seen for 10 months. And I enjoy anticipating that first ripe blueberry in July, or a crisp just-picked apple in October. In a way, seasonal eating allows for a bit of re-discovery with each passing month.

Make sure to check out the links below to see what fabulously fresh recipes my fellow food blogging ladies have created this month. And if you make a recipe with any of the ingredients from the Eat Seasonal Guide, be sure to post a picture to Instagram using the hashtag #eatseasonal so we can all be inspired by each other!

Cheers,

Liz

Quinoa and Pea Shoot Salad with Cauliflower, Asparagus and Strawberries

Serves 4

Quinoa and Pea Shoot Salad with Cauliflower, Asparagus and Strawberries

Ingredients

  • For the Salad
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 4 ounces pea shoots (also called pea tendrils)
  • 2 cups strawberries, halved
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

  • For the Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons sesame tahini
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. stone ground mustard

Instructions

  1. Make the quinoa. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the temperature to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, covered, until all the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let the quinoa stand covered for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and the ground coriander. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and roast in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through {Hint: add the asparagus at this time; see the next step}. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Toss the asparagus with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Transfer to a second rimmed baking sheet and roast in your pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl, mixing until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Assemble the salads. Divide the quinoa evenly between four plates. Top with the pea shoots, roasted cauliflower, roasted asparagus and strawberry halves, dividing everything evenly among the plates. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds and the cilantro. Drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/quinoa-and-pea-shoot-salad-with-cauliflower-asparagus-and-strawberries/

April Eat Seasonal Recipes

April-Seasonal-Recipes-Collage

Roasted Broccoli Stuffed Shells Recipe by Vintage Mixer

Tangy Quinoa Spring Salad Cups by Simple Bites

Curry Asparagus & Cauliflower Rice by Cookin’ Canuck

Strawberry Rhubarb Mousse with Meyer Lemon Whipped Cream by Climbing Grier Mountain

Healthy Key Lime Pie Smoothie by Bless This Mess

Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts by Well Plated

Chicken Rice Stew with Leeks and Mushrooms by Cafe Johnsonia

Asparagus with Chive Vinaigrette by Project Domestication

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Scones by Completely Delicious

Garlic Mushroom Salad with Arugula and Wild Rice by Mountain Mama Cooks

82 Comments


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  • What a gorgeous salad, Liz! I love seasonal eating too…so many fresh flavors and veggies!

    Reply

    • Thanks, Gayle! Seasonal eating is the best way to go! XO


  • I’m so happy you’re in the group!! This is utterly stunning!! We’re counting down the days until strawberry season here in Canada. 🙂

    Reply

    • Thank you so much, Aimee! I’m happy to be part of such a wonderful group of blogging ladies! XO


  • Now, this is a salad! Love all the veggies….I’ll trade you a bite!

    Reply

    • Deal! 🙂


  • What is it about pea shoots that make every salad taste better? This whole plate looks like a wonderful celebration of springtime!

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    • Thanks, Dara. I just love the frilly-ness of pea shoots. So fun! Hugs!


  • Ohh pea shoots?! I never think to work with those, but now I need them in this salad! I always realllly want strawberries in the dead of winter, but I know as soon as I taste them that they are going to be the worrrst.

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    • I know. Nothing is worse than buying summery fruits in the winter and having them taste bad. It’s so sad. Pea shoots are my new favorite thing. You gotta get some! XO


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  • What an awesome recipe and an awesome Eat Seasonal group! 🙂 I am definitely going to use that link as a guide as a prep meals this month!

    Reply

    • That’s so great to hear, Erin!


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  • Cheers to eating in season! I love the idea of getting folks amped about selecting in-season fruits and veggies – you ladies have got it going on! This salad is absolute perfection! So much spring-y goodness to enjoy!

    Reply

    • It’s the best! Thanks, Julia. 🙂


  • I love this idea of eating seasonally. Now that we are planning out our garden, it is making me hyper aware of what produce is in season, and what produce is just being shipped in when it is not at its peak. This salad sounds delicious! Great balance of flavors. Yum!

    Reply

    • Oh yeah for gardening fun. It’s the best way to get excited for eating with the seasons!


  • Liz, I love eating and cooking with in-season fruits and veggies. . you know, honestly, I didn’t really pay any attention to any of this until I started blogging!! anyway, it’s the only way to go!! love this salad!!! cauliflower, asparagus and strawberries, hooray!!!

    Reply

    • Yeah, I’ve heard that from other food bloggers too. It’s just something that not everyone thinks about all the time. Which is why I love what Becky has done in creating this group!


  • That salad is so beautiful!

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    • Thank you, Trish!


  • Saw this on Twitter and had to check it out for myself! This is seriously one of the most gorgeous salads I’ve EVER seen! Well done!

    Reply

    • Oh my gosh THANK YOU! You just totally made my day. 🙂


  • What an absolutely gorgeous, seasonal salad! I’m so happy asparagus is back.

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    • Meeee toooo! Love me some asparagus! Thanks, Jennifer.


  • This salad may be the most gorgeous salad I have ever seen. EVER!!! And I love the strawberry asparagus combo!!

    Reply

    • Awwww….thanks, Becky. Happy to be part of the Eat Seasonal group!


  • I agree completely! I no longer buy berries in the winter, etc., and try to buy only what’s fresh and in season. This blogging group you’re in sounds amazing — I love it. And this salad is so packed with goodness, and so hearty from the quinoa. Pinned!

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    • Fresh is definitely best! Thanks, Marcie. And thanks for pinning!


  • Hello gorgeous salad. Will you be my lunch?

    Reply

    • I accept your invitation.


  • Love this post, Liz! Your salad, your seasonal eating guide and inspiration!! YESSSS to all of it! Being in rhythm with season produce feels so good and always stretches my culinary skills. Your salad is simply gorgeous, full of flavor, texture… a feast for the eyes and taste buds. A spring time dream in the form of a delectable salad! The tahini dressing is tangy yet mellow with the added benefit of some protein! I’m always a bit later in the seasonal stuff because I wait till the farms here are harvesting things like pea shoots and strawberries. I’m still eating lots of collards, kale and cabbage! If we’re lucky, we’ll have some asparagus. The market just opened last weekend and the farm stands are up and loaded again! So excited Spring is here!! Thank you for this, Liz!!

    Reply

    • The re-opening of the farmers markets is my favorite time of year! I can’t wait for all the good stuff that is coming our way soon! Thanks for the love, Traci. XO


  • This salad looks so incredible, Liz! I try to eat in season fruits and veggies too, I love that you added the list into this post. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Thanks, Danielle. Glad you are inspired!


  • Well this is definitely the prettiest salad I’ve ever seen! I always look forward to spring produce. Love all the great things you included in this salad. Gorgeous and delicious!

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    • Thanks, Beth. I have never looked forward to Spring produce more. This winter was TOUGH!


  • Love love this salad!! And all these veggies in April get me excited!!

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    • You know we are total food nerds when we talk about getting excited about veggies! 🙂


  • This is one of the prettiest salads I have ever seen!! It is so bright and colorful! That is one of the things I like best about seasonal eating is that it highlights all the beautiful fruits and vegetables of the season! I bet this tastes so amazing 🙂

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    • Thanks, Izzy! I was pretty proud of how gorgeous it came out. 🙂


  • It’s so pretty! I am so excited for spring and all of the fresh berries to start rolling into town 🙂 And LOL…Mud season!

    Reply

    • Oh Mud Season. The worst. I’m in the thick of it right now. No more high heeled shoes for the next few weeks!


  • I love pea shoots and I love eating seasonally! This looks great 😉

    Reply

    • Thanks, Medha! Glad you love it! 🙂


  • Girl, I had serious strawberry cravings in the middle of winter, so I bought a pint, and I was soooo disappointed. They were SOO sour! Goes to show why we should eat things when they’re actually in season! LOVE this salad here!

    Reply

    • Yeah, nothing much worse than getting excited for a sweet, juicy berry and haven’t it suck. Ugh. I guess patience is a virtue! 🙂


  • Eating seasonally is something that I really attempt to do. This year, I plan on canning A LOT more than I did last year, so that I can enjoy tomatoes, basil, and pickles all winter long. 🙂 This salad looks delicious.

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  • This is truly salad in a bowl. I love how you combined so many seasonal favorites into one dish. The colors are bright and the salad is simply gorgeous! Welcome to the group 🙂

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    • Thanks, Kelley! I’m happy to be part of the group!


  • Such a gorgeous salad. Love the tahini dressing and I am so excited strawberry season is here!

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    • Thank you! I’m totally obsessed with tahini-based dressings too! Let me know if you try it out.


  • What a gorgeous salad! I don’t always eat seasonal produce but I have a link bookmarked that I check periodically. I’ve been dying to cook with peaches and they aren’t in the stores right now so I look it up once in a while to see when I can expect them. 🙂 You are lucky to have innate knowledge of this stuff! I love the incorporation of pea shoots here. I have only ever put them on sandwiches but why not add them to a salad? Why not?! Good call. 🙂

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    • Yeah, it can be tough to resist those out of season fruit and veggies. They always look so good at the store. But I know they probably won’t taste the best. Patience is key sometimes! I definitely think you’ll love putting pea shoots in your salad, Meggan!


  • What a gorgeous salad, Liz! I love all the colors and flavors – so perfect for Spring!

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    • Thank you, Ashley! I’m so happy Spring is (finally!) here.


  • This salad is seriously STUNNING!!

    Reply

    • Thanks, Nicole!


  • This salad is the epitome of spring!! I love absolutely everything about it.

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    • Thanks, Joanne! It’s hailing as a type this, so I think this salad is the ONLY Spring thing for me right now! 🙂


  • I looove that you’re seasonal eating! This salad looks perfect for April. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the coming months!

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    • Thanks, Sarah! XO


  • Love all the ingredients and flavors, this is such a perfect salad!

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    • Thanks, Katalina! I hope you try it!


  • What a lovely, lovely project, Liz! And this salad looks like everything good about spring in one delicious dish!

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    • Thank you, Amy! It is totally lovely! XO


  • Love the seasonal produce guide and this recipe Liz.

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    • Thanks, Kathy! Glad you love them both! 🙂


  • Love how colorful this salad is! Those strawberries really pop and it’s seriously just waiting to be eaten 🙂 Love the season guide too!!! Can’t wait to hit up our farmers markets

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    • Yeah, I’m so ready for the farmers markets!


  • Such a GORGEOUS salad, Liz!! Love the colors, textures and flavors!

    Reply

    • Thank you, Tieghan! It’s my new favorite salad!


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  • Oh, my, this salad sounds amazing, Liz!

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    • Thank you so much, friend! Bread in salads is always a good idea! 🙂


  • This looks delicious! Just pinned it!

    Reply

    • Awesome, Eileen! Thanks! 🙂

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