Quinoa with Asparagus and Meyer Lemon

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Just in time for your Easter or Passover table. I love the bright, floral flavor the Meyer lemon adds to this grain salad and how it plays against the roasted asparagus. 

Quinoa with Asparagus and Meyer Lemon 

Serves 2-3 (easily doubles)

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1-2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
1 small shallot, minced
juice + zest from 1 Meyer lemon
1/4 cup raw almonds, toasted and chopped
small handful parsley, roughly chopped
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper - add asparagus and toss with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a pinch each sea salt and black pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes until just tender and still bright green. 

Meanwhile, heat a small sauce pan to medium, add a drizzle of olive oil and shallot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add quinoa, 1 cup filtered water, and a good pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand another 5-10 minutes then fluff with a fork. 

In the bottom of a mixing bowl, whisk together the Meyer lemon juice, zest, one tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch each salt + black pepper. Add cooked quinoa, roasted asparagus, chopped almonds, and parsley. Toss until combined, then taste and adjust seasoning. 

Serve quinoa slightly warm or room temperature.

The flavors meld together as the dish continues to sit and it's delicious for lunches throughout the week. I like to serve it on top of arugula or with a side of wild salmon. 

Note: If you don't have Meyer lemons, regular lemon will work too. I might add a small drizzle of honey to add that sweet floral note that would otherwise be missing.