I took a journey today.
Into some of the darkest depths, through vast cold spaces and sparse dry-lands. At times I feared I would return home empty handed…but I emerged unscathed and with something beautiful to share with you all.
I’m speaking, of course, about cleaning out the fridge and pantry. Not always the most elegant of tasks but a) it feels so good once it’s done and b) you often come out of it with some good pieces to use for a meal.
I came out with a bunch of bits and bobs that had only days before I would have to lay them to rest. In order to not let them pass through life untouched, and unfulfilled - I decided to have a salad and invite them all to join.
The guest of honour was a little produce bag full of red quinoa, which I had bought when I was feeling a little adventurous a while back but never used [surprise, surprise!]. The other attendees included - toasted pecans, caramelized onions, chunks of bright green, surprisingly ripe [given they had been there for about 5 days] avocados, ever-so-slightly roasted asparagus spears, and some crumbled feta. The flavours/textures/colours couldn’t have been more perfect for each other. They all brought something great to the table, like any good party guests should.
I don’t have a recipe for this, per se, since it’s pretty self explanatory but a few instructions should help you along the way.
For the caramelized onions:
Dice two small onions. In a medium, heavy bottomed saute pan put 2 tbsp butter/olive oil and let melt over medium-high heat. Add onions. Stir every so often until well browned [+/- 30 minutes].
For the asparagus:
Preheat oven to 400. Slice asparagus diagonally into 1 or 2 inch [or whatever you would prefer] pieces. Toss with a pinch of salt and pepper and enough olive oil to just coat your spears. Roast for 5-7 minutes until bright green, and still slightly crunchy.
For the pecans:
In a saute pan over medium heat, pour in your pecans [or pine nuts, walnuts, almonds etc etc. I just happened to have pecans.] and toss ever few minutes until you can smell them. They should only be on for about 6-7 minutes.
It looks especially lovely when it’s all seperated into it’s specific ingredients but I won’t hold it against you if you smoosh, smoosh, mix, mash it all together. It tastes best that way, anyhow.