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Quinoa with Spring Vegetables

Recipe & photo by  Maren Ellingboe

Recipe & photo by Maren Ellingboe

Recipe and photo by Maren Ellingboe!

With its nutty flavor, fluffy texture, and abundance of vitamins and minerals, it’s no wonder that quinoa remains an integral part of a healthy diet. Here, the gluten-free wonder food is tossed with crisp spring vegetables, a lemony vinaigrette, and feta cheese for a Mediterranean-inspired side dish.

Ingredients

Quinoa

  • 1 c quinoa*

  • 1 lb fava beans or 2 c frozen edamame

  • 2 c frozen or fresh peas*

  • 2-3 radishes*, very thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste

  • ½ c chopped fresh mint*

  • ½ c crumbled feta cheese

Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 1 shallot*, finely chopped

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon*

  • ½ tsp honey*

  • ⅓ cup olive oil*

  • Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste

    *Ingredient available to add to your Imperfect box

Instructions

  1. Add quinoa and 2 c water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy but still al dente, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.

  2. If using fava beans, remove them from their pods. Bring a small pot of water to boil, then add the beans and cook until they begin floating to the top, 1-2 minutes. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to remove the beans from pot, and rinse under cold water.

  3. Using your finger, pop a bean from the within the outer membrane—it should come out easily. Repeat with all remaining beans and then add to the quinoa. Compost the outer membranes.

  4. If using edamame, cook according to package directions.

  5. Bring the same pot of water to boil. Add peas and cook until bright green, 1-2 minutes. Strain and add to bowl with quinoa and favas.

  6. To make the dressing, add the shallot, lemon zest and juice, and honey to a jar. Cover and shake to combine. Add olive oil and shake again. Season with salt and pepper.

  7. Add radishes to bowl with quinoa and stir to combine. Season well with salt and pepper.

  8. Drizzle with vinaigrette and stir to combine. Top quinoa with mint and feta. Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • Fava beans can feel like a lot of work, but their fresh green flavor makes it worth the effort! Boiling them makes quick work of removing the rough outer membrane. If you don’t have fava beans, just substitute chickpeas or any canned beans that you have around.

  • Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to shave the radishes as thinly as possible for a crunchy contrast to the favas and peas.

  • If you can find it, preserved lemon adds a complex savory flavor to the dish, but the zest and juice of a lemon will achieve a similar result.