Lemony Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Walnut Pesto

Bright lemons, fresh peas, roasted asparagus, and an herby walnut pesto make this quinoa salad a delicious and perfect spring meal

A Michigan spring is not unlike a riot. Tree branches erupt with bright green buds, migratory birds flood the skies as they return to nesting grounds, and the roaring song of the spring peeper drowns out all else in the marshes near our home. It is nothing short of fierce and impassioned.

Markets are exploding with spring produce and I am digging peas and asparagus. Don’t get me wrong, I like root vegetables as much as the next person but my palate is ready for bright spring flavors. With roasted asparagus, fresh mint, and sunny lemon, this quinoa dish is perfect for ringing in the season.

After the long winter we had, I am deeply grateful for sandals, light jackets, and long walks through the park with the dogs. With the warming temps comes fishing season and I know Jay is ready to get back to work chartering fishing trips for salmon-hungry customers. And I am ready to restock our freezer with bright pink coho salmon that gather along the Lake Michigan coastline this time of year. But in the meantime, I’m making the most with spring veggies.

This recipe makes a big batch, but if you’re down with meal prep then you’ll appreciate the amount of leftovers you’ll have. They freeze beautifully and can be enjoyed straight from the fridge or rewarmed for a couple minutes in the microwave.

Print Recipe
Lemony Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Walnut Pesto
Servings
5
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Quinoa
  • 2 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Lb Asparagus
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1 Medium Lemon Zest and Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Mint Leaves Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas
Servings
5
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Quinoa
  • 2 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Lb Asparagus
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1 Medium Lemon Zest and Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Mint Leaves Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas
Instructions
  1. Add the quinoa to a medium pot and cover with 4 cups of water. Add a pinch of salt and bring the mixture to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400. Chop the zucchini and asparagus into bite-sized chunks and place on two separate baking sheet.s Drizzle with olive oil and salt and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Use a microplane to zest your lemon. Add your lemon zest, lemon juice, walnuts, parsley, mint, and a pinch of salt to your food processor or blender. Pulse to combine the ingredients, then with the machine running drizzle in the olive oil. Toss the quinoa with the roasted veggies, pesto, and peas and serve. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge and enjoyed cold or rewarmed in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.