I owe a debt of gratitude to one of my fellow food bloggers, Abby from figandfork.com, for introducing me to the idea for this salad. I was looking for something healthy, and interesting to serve my parents when they came up for Easter weekend. My dad recently had heart surgery, so he is trying to cut back on his sodium and fat intake, but he is a huge lover of salt. I have been trying to convince him that he can make some really flavorful foods, if he knows how to use some other seasonings. Lemon is always a good substitute, and this salad has a nice, lemony kick. I served it with some marinated, grilled chicken breasts.
I improvised with some of the veggies, because I found some cool things at the Linden Hills Co-op when I stopped the other day. The sunflower sprouts gave it a little bit of a "Dr. Seuss" feel, which made eating it fun!
1/2 pound fresh asaparagus
1 small cucumber, diced
1 cup baby watercress
1 handful sprouts (I used sunflower sprouts)
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pepitos
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the dressing
Juice and zest of 2 fresh lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil, salt and pepper for grilling asparagus
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Let cool. Meanwhile, trim asparagus, and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill for just a few minutes, just until charred. Cut into bite sized pieces. Toss together with quinoa and remaining ingredients, except for pepitos. Pour dressing over the salad and refrigerate. Stir in pepitos just before serving.