I should know by now that leaving London before 5pm on a friday is compulsory if I want to get to Oxford before midnight. After so many trips back and forth from my mother’s home in Oxford to mine, you would have thought I had it down to a t. Unfortunately not.
I spent the last 2 hours sitting in an unbelievably cramped bus, packed in like a sardine, attempting not to embarrass myself whist spilling half a sachet of Soy Sauce down my front, unashamedly bashing aside the guy opposite’s laptop into his lap with my own. (The big bad mac takes no prisoners…) All idea of work quicky went out the window and I ended up spending 2 hours of bliss with Thomas Cromwell and the Archbishop of York, via the literary genius of Hilary Mantel. Wolf Hall is a great book.. If you haven’t read it, do! It’s like climbing in through a window of Cromwell’s house in Tudor England and having a good nosey around.
I am always acutely aware of how city-ish I am when I get to the country. Hit with the exhaustion of too much oxygen and the novelty of of grass everywhere, I am all over the walks and bike rides and often find a whole afternoon has passed me by whilst I have been pootling and pottering about . Its bliss… for a while.
To celebrate my return to the country it had to be something fresh and green to cleanse my body and give me a good dose of vitamins. I wanted to use up the bag of shelled edamame beans that have been sitting in the freezer waiting to be played with. It would also have been wrong not to make the most of the short asparagus season. The reason I opted for red quinoa is because it makes a nice contrast to green of the veggies. In the absence of the red variety you can use the white, or even black quinoa, if you wanted to experiment. I have long been a fan of asian-style dressings and absolutely love the addition of fresh ginger and wasabi to this one.The lime adds a vibrancy, the sesame oil adding earthiness and the Soy Sauce giving it the salt, all of which lightened with the sweetness of the maple syrup.
Asparagus, Edamame and Quinoa Salad Recipe
- 150g red quinoa
- 10 spears of asparagus
- 150g shelled edamame Beans
- 1/2 avocado, cut in cubes
- 4 spring onions
- 1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
For the Dressing
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp wasabi paste (you could use Dijon Mustard)
- 2 tbs toasted sesame seed oil
- 2 tbs tamari or soy sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbs maple syrup, or honey
Add the quinoa to a sauce pan, and cover with 500ml of water. Put the pan over a medium heat, bring the water to boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook with a lid on, for 15-20 minutes.
Whilst the quinoa is cooking, remove the edamame beans from the freezer, put them in a sieve and rinse under a cold tap to defrost.
Rinse the asparagus and snap off the woody ends – at the bottom, where they break naturally.
Once the quinoa is cooked, turn off the hob. Add the asparagus to the pan and put the lid back on. Leave them steam for a couple of minutes. You don’t want to fully cook the asparagus, just soften it slightly. When the asparagus is looking vibrant and green, remove them from the pan. Slice them, in inch sized pieces and set aside.
Add the edamame to the quinoa and toss through. If the edamame isn’t fully defrosted return the lid to the quinoa and leave to one side for 10 minutes. The partially frozen edamame will cool down the quinoa.
Mix together the dressing ingredients and taste. Make any adaptations to taste. e.g salt, pepper, extra lemon…
Return the asparagus to the pan with the quinoa, add the avocado cubes, dressing and toss to combine. Turn the mixture into a serving dish, scatter over the spring onions and sesame seeds-and enjoy.
I served it with some fresh Green Salad Leaves, with a soft boiled Egg perched on top… It was delicious but very green meal!