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Quinoa with Kale, Asparagus and Roasted Kumquats

March 22, 2013

I just love the green and orange combination. I’m drawn to it in flowers and I’m drawn to it in vegetables. What  better way to celebrate spring than to be inspired by this vibrant color combo!

Passover is right around the corner and the action is getting very intense in the kitchen. I was even inclined to clean out the “everything” drawer today. You know what I’m talking about – every kitchen has one. A half-dozen tools, hastily-scribbled phone numbers on little post-its, coasters, tiny screws, nails and broken plastic pieces of we-don’t know-what-but-we-might- remember-someday. Expired coupons, take-out menus, pens, old receipts, and we’re not even talking that large a drawer…

Strangely enough, once everything was out of the drawer and the keeps separated from the tosses, a calm came over me. OK, a momentary calm came over me. There just may be something to all this Passover hyper-cleaning. The physical cleansing of the external house carrying over to an ordering and cleansing of the internal house, if you get where I’m drifting to…

So here comes a dish, perfect for this time of year, that’s delicious as a lunch or as a wonderful side. It’s meatless. It’s dairy-free. It’s Passover-friendly. What more do you want?

I’ve already said how I love great color. (Am I repeating myself? Lulu, I told you to pinch me if I start repeating myself!) But I also love contrasting texture. Sometimes I’ll roast different veggies for a quinoa dish. But this time I wanted to vary texture. I was already using roasted kumquats.  That was an easy choice because roasting brings out the natural sugars, I knew it was perfect to balance the tartness of the fruit.

fresh kumquats

seasoned kumquats

Easy as 1-2-3

Easy as 1-2-3

So instead of roasting or braising the kale I decided to steam it, along with some asparagus, Always consider cooking time. Kale takes longer to steam so that went into the pot first.

curly kale

asparagus for steaming

Finally, I wanted to mix it up with some fresh herbs. Always a delicious addition. For this dish, I selected fresh mint, chives (green onions would have worked just as well), and curly parsley from the little pots sitting on the back porch.

fresh chives, mint and parsley

I love that quinoa works so well with so many veggies and herbs. Mix and match. It’s very hard to trip up. Use red quinoa – that has a bit more substance to it. Use the regular variety. Mix it up. Call it keen-wa. Call it kee-no-ah. Any way you call it, it’ll be a hit.

quinoa salad

Quinoa with Kale, Asparagus and Roasted Kumquats


1 c. (225 g.) red (or white) quinoa
1 c.(240 ml.)  broth, chicken or vegetable
1 c. (240 ml.) water
1 c. (225 g) kumquats, sliced in half lengthwise with some pits removed
3 T. (45 ml.) olive oil, divided (for roasting and for tossing into quinoa salad)
1 bunch kale (any variety – I used curly)
1 bunch asparagus
2 T. (30 g.) fresh mint, chopped
2 T. (30 g.) fresh chives, chopped
2 T. (30 g.) fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of half a lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

bb note:

If kumquats aren’t around, use about a cup of butternut squash, cubed and roasted. You can swap green onions for the chives. If you don’t have fresh herbs around, use a 1/2 t. (2.5 g) of dried herb to replace each fresh herb. But see what fresh herbs you can get. They really make the dish say, “Yeah!”


Cook quinoa according to package directions, using half broth and half water as the cooking liquid. Fluff with fork and place in serving bowl.

Preheat oven to 375° (190°). Toss kumquats in about 1 T. (15 ml.) olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast kumquats, cut side down, for 20 minutes or until tender.

Steam kale, cut into bite-sized pieces, for 8-10 minutes. Add asparagus , cut in half, to steamer and continue steaming for 3 more minutes. Remove immediately.

Add kale to quinoa. Cut asparagus into bite-sized pieces and add to quinoa. Toss in minced garlic and add about 2 T. (30 ml.) olive oil or enough to just barely coat the quinoa and vegetables. Add juice of 1/2 lemon. Toss in fresh chopped herbs.

Add salt and pepper to taste and toss lightly, Top with roasted quinoa halves.

Serves about 6. Can be served cold, room temperature or warm.

Springtime quinoa


From → Fruit, Sides, Veggies

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  1. Quinoa with Broccoli and Lemon | bumbleberry breeze

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