I don’t post enough side dishes. Well, perhaps because I don’t make many that are post-worthy. Most nights the side dishes consist of some sort of grain and a roasted green veggie or salad. Not much to post there, eh? I’m doing good to get all the main dishes planned for my monthly menu, much less trying to plan some fancy-schmancy side dishes too. Sheesh. What do y’all want from me?!?
I kid, I kid. But there are a few side dishes that have been on my radar for awhile now that incorporate my grain and my greens into one delicious dish. This is one such dish.
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 3 cups water (or chicken or veggie broth)
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large bunch baby asparagus, stalks cut off and cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 Tbsp dried basil leaves)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the quinoa and water or broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Set aside, still covered, for about 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add asparagus pieces and season with lemon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Once the quinoa and asparagus have cooled some, place them in a large bowl, add the olives and feta cheese and stir to combine.
- In another bowl, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and basil. Season with salt and pepper. and drizzle over the quinoa mixture.
- Stir to combine, top with toasted pine nuts, and serve!