I Heart Asparagus

Decided get creative in the kitchen in anticipation of a Vegan Raw Food Potluck at a friend’s home this evening. I consulted some online sources for raw asparagus and sprouted quinoa suggestions, but beyond that, this is my own mélange. And so it was that I found myself chopping asparagus, onions and garlic at 11:30 yesterday evening…

Raw Asparagus Quinoa

This recipe was ridiculously hard to name – I went with the most abundant ingredients but it could just as easily have been Raw Vegan Sprouted Quinoa & Lentils — or — Asparagus and Zucchini with Sprouted Lentils — or — Good Gracious It’s GREEN! (I do like that last one, though I don’t know how it’d fair in the search engines. Dang algorithms.) Most of the ingredients listed were organic and the non-organic items (see asterisks below) constitute a very small proportion of the final dish.

Yield: Approximately 5-6 cups

Ingredients for Sauce… or Relish, if you prefer
chopped asparagus stalks (reserve the tips and tender tops aside)
1/2 a red onion, diced
1/2 a head of garlic, diced/minced
1T raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
2T extra virgin, cold-pressed Australian olive oil*
Small, peeled chunk of ginger, diced/minced*

Mix these ingredients and set aside to marinate. I let them hang out and mingle all night long. Whee-ooo!

Yeah, we've been MINGLING! All. Night. Long.

In the morning, I added some French Celtic Sea Salt (to taste) and puréed them in my food processor until there were no more large chunks.

Well-Processed Green Goodness

Chunky Ingredients
Tips & tops of reserved asparagus – about 2 cups worth
1 c. sprouted quinoa, dry
1 c. sprouted lentils, dry
1 medium cucumber, seeded and chunked into small pieces
1 small (or 2 baby) zucchini, sliced in rounds
1T agave nectar*

Rehydrate the quinoa and lentils if you are using a product similar to what I used, Tru Roots Sprouted Quinoa and Sprouted Lentils. If you’re totally wickedly awesome and you’ve sprouted your own, I bow down in reverence – and assume you know how to handle them. Mine chilled in a warm-water bath (yeah, yeah, oxymoron, so what?) for about two hours so they’d be nice and soft.

Don't mind us, we're just having a soak.

After the lentils and quinoa announced their readiness (they’re kinda shy, you gotta listen closely), I mixed in the asparagus sauce and had a little tasting session.

Tasting - An integral part of the prep.

Then I carefully folded in the asparagus tips and tender tops, zuke rounds and cuke bites. It seemed to want more salt at this point so I added some Real Salt™. It wanted a bit of sweetness, too, so I squirted in some agave nectar.

We're almost finished here...

The last step is to basically adjust the seasonings until you get everything right. Because I perpetually under-salt, I added more than seemed prudent but still tasted good. I also added more apple cider vinegar to punch things up. It’s a very green-tasting dish, thanks in large part to the lentils and their rawness.

The Final Product - Let the Feeding Frenzy Commence!

Seems like a good experiment, it’s certainly edible, and I’m looking forward to hearing what my test subjects fellow Potluckers have to offer as critical commentary. Hey, I’m open-minded – Anyone else care to weigh in?

**Update 4/11/11: I cannot properly express my gratitude to the wonderful and gracious folks at the “Our Potluck Family” gathering who welcomed my dish (and me) wholeheartedly and offered high praise – I cannot tell you all how pleased I was that you enjoyed my offering as much as I enjoyed all of yours. The very best compliment of all was to be able to take home an empty dish because others were keen on “leftovers”!