Spring Quinoa Salad (aka Jen Aniston Salad)

In Homepage - Main Dishes, Salads by Frances Largeman-Roth

Usually when recipes take the Internet by storm, I’m not very impressed. They’re too gimmicky or not really “new.” But when my sister sent me a link to the Jennifer Aniston salad, the ingredients were so appealing that I had to give it a try. The one from Eating Bird Food is excellent, but since I love asparagus so much, I knew I had to make that addition. And as a lemon lover, I also upped the amount of lemon juice in the salad, and added lemon zest. I also threw in more cucumber because Leo loves it.

This is the kind of salad you’ll want to make for every spring or summer get together and it’s perfect for meal prep. You can definitely add some canned tuna, grilled salmon or chicken to this, but it’s plenty satisfying on its own.

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water

1 pound asparagus

1 hothouse cucumber, halved and diced

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/4 cup red onion

1/2 cup lightly salted pistachios, chopped

2 lemons, juiced, plus the zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons EVOO

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup cubed feta

  1. Add the quinoa and water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff and put lid back on for a few minutes until all the water is absorbed.
  2. Wash the asparagus. Cut it into 1-inch pieces and add to a large pot of boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the color becomes bright green. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water (you can add ice if you’re feeling energetic).
  3. Add the quinoa to a large bowl and add in the asparagus, cucumber, parsley, onion, and pistachios.
  4. Combine the lemon juice, EVOO, salt and pepper in a small bowl and drizzle over the salad. Stir to combine and top with the lemon zest and feta. Enjoy! Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.