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Smart Cooks

Recipe for quinoa salad with asparagus and lemon vinaigrette

Serves 4

The asparagus are cut with a vegetable peeler into lengthwise strips, which curl and look ribbonlike in a bowl of quinoa. Add thinly sliced radishes, toasted almonds, and a lemony vinaigrette for a hearty spring salad.

½cup sliced almonds
Salt and pepper, to taste
1cup quinoa (red, white, or a combination)
½pound fresh asparagus, ends snapped off
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1tablespoon Dijon mustard
1tablespoon honey
1tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
¼cup olive oil
½bunch radishes, thinly sliced

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. In a baking dish, arrange the almonds in one layer. Toast them for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until they are golden. Watch them carefully near the end.

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2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the quinoa, stirring occasionally, for 14 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, and transfer to a large bowl; cool.

3. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus stalks into ribbons, leaving the tips intact. Transfer to the quinoa.

4. In another bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and rind, mustard, honey, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil in a thin steady stream, whisking constantly.

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5. Add the radishes to the quinoa mixture with the asparagus and dressing. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Catherine Smart

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