Asparagus Quinoa and Tabasco Butter



Tabasco & Asparagus Quinoa Recipe:
(adapted from Heidi Swanson’s recipe)
1/2 cup / 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
25 drops Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 pound /1 bundle asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments

4 cups cooked quinoa*
1/3 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts, toasted
scant 1/4 cup sour cream – optional
more Tabasco sauce to taste
sliced green onions (to garnish)

Start by making the Tabasco butter. In a food processor, or with a hand blender, whip the butter until it is light and airy. Add the mustard, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice and salt. As I mention above, you can make it stronger if you like, adding more hot sauce to taste.

Boil the asparagus in a large pot of well salted water, for just for a minute or so – depending on the thickness of your asparagus. Drain. If you are serving this immediately you can leave the asparagus hot, but if you are going to wait to serve this, or think you’ll have leftovers I recommend you stop the cooking with cold water or a dunk in an ice bath, then drain well before using.

Take the 4 cups / 20 oz / 565 g of hot cooked quinoa and toss with 3 tablespoons of the tabasco butter. You’ll have leftover butter – you can serve that on the side or use it for other purposes. Stir in the asparagus, pine nuts, and dollop with creme fraiche. Serve with more Tabasco sauce on the side and garnish with green onions.

Serves 4 – 6.

*To cook quinoa: Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed dried quinoa with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curliques.

Inspired by Skye Gyngell’s Asparagus with Tabasco Butter recipe in My Favorite Ingredients (Ten Speed Press, 2010).

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