Red Quinoa with Sauteed Asparagus Tips and Pesto


I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.
Ruth Stout






After last week’s asparagus extravaganza, I knew I had to cook with this tasty veggie again. Peter and I have enjoyed both roasted and steamed asparagus – how about raw?

“Never!” I said. “Too crunchy and flavorless. Right?”

Truth is, I’d never tried asparagus raw. Until last night.


I tried to convince Peter to roast the asparagus before we incorporated it into this red quinoa dish. In true form, he did the exact opposite. Recipe adapted from Modernist Cuisine at Home.




Thinly-sliced raw asparagus adds crunch to this dish, while sauteed asparagus tips satisfy that caramelized flavor craving. This protein-packed dish stands on its own, or pairs well with Peter’s smoked trout and additional roasted asparagus. Because we can never have enough asparagus.

Thanks to our friends Arden and Dan for bringing over this fresh trout!


Red Quinoa with Sauteed Asparagus Tips and Pesto

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 20 minutes

  Keywords: vegetarian quinoa asparagus pesto

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 1 cup asparagus, woody ends removed, tips cut off, and stalks thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Rinse quinoa in fine-mesh strainer for at least 1 minute to remove bitter outer coating. Drain well. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in medium saucepan over medium heat and saute quinoa for 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and vermouth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from burner and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

While quinoa cooks, heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in small frying pan and add asparagus tips, Sauce for 2 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Stir sliced raw asparagus and pesto into quinoa. Season to taste. Garnish with sauteed asparagus tips and serve.

Note: A pressure cooker can be used. Decrease vegetable stock to 1 1/4 cups and pressure-cook quinoa for 4 minutes. Continue with recipe as outlined.

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Q: Have you ever tried raw asparagus?


  1. I’ve never had raw asparagus, I’ll have to give that a try – it looks delicious!

    1. Thanks, Colleen! 🙂

  2. This looks so perfect for spring! I’ve yet to try raw asparagus, I thought the texture would be too tough but I guess I should actually try it before making any final judgements 😉 Maddie looks adorable! 🙂

  3. What a beautiful meal, Jessie. I love the simplicity of this quinoa dish. And I’m all about more asparagus recipes. The pictures of the pup and that green grass made me smile as well. It is currently snowing here! Thank you for sharing!

  4. I love that this has a mix of both raw and sauteed! That way there’s something for everyone. 🙂

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