This shaved fennel and asparagus salad combines quinoa, Manchego cheese, red onion, and a zesty lemon dressing. It is super refreshing and makes a great light lunch or side salad.
I absolutely love shaved asparagus - the first time I tried it was on this pizza from Smitten Kitchen. It was a revelation. I'd never eaten asparagus raw. It's tastes like the color green - it's so fresh. Definitely worth trying.
As a kid, I was pretty meh about asparagus. On our birthdays, we always got to choose what we ate for dinner and my mom always chose asparagus as her side dish. I was always confused by that - I mean, it's your birthday, so when you could have mac and cheese as a side...why have asparagus? But thankfully, taste buds changes and now I get it. Asparagus has a rich, delicious flavor, which was sadly lost on me for a few years.
I decided to use red quinoa with this recipe, because I appreciate its nuttier flavor. I do use a lot of white quinoa - but I treat it more like rice - as a vehicle for curry, soup, or other flavors, and not as a flavor enhancer on its own.
I do hope you enjoy this fresh, simple recipe. It's easy, quick, and healthy - but most importantly it's delicious - what's not to love?