It’s June, school is out, and the vegetables are starting to pop in the garden, all signs that it’s summer, even if the weather still feels like spring. I enjoy walking through the garden in the morning, watering and checking for signs of critters and weeds. It’s a relaxing way to start my day.
This year I added more parsley to the herb bed because I just love it in summer salads. And I think it doesn’t get enough recognition in the food world, where it’s too often relegated to garnish or a flavor enhancer, but it’s actually very good for you. Parsley has 13 vitamins and minerals, including protein and substantial amounts of vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid, plus iron and beta carotene. Both the flat leaf and curly parsley make excellent salads, like this quinoa avocado salad, and they grow easily in home gardens.
Growing parsley is pretty easy, it just needs full sun and rich, well-drained soil. The seeds have a tough outer coating and germinate slowly, but you can speed the process by soaking the seeds in water overnight before planting, and you can put them in the ground about 3 to 4 weeks before last frost. You can also find plants at any local nursery or garden center. As the parsley grows and starts to take off, snip off the outer stems. The plant will continue to produce and you’ll have parsley all season long. Parsley is a biennial, which means it will flower the next season and then die, so you will need to put in new plants each year.
This is another good make ahead recipe, just make the lemon vinaigrette and quinoa the day before you plan to eat it. The quinoa will be nicely chilled in the refrigerator, and the vinaigrette ingredients will have melded well.
Quinoa Avocado Salad with Parsley, Corn, Tomatoes, and Lemon Vinaigrette
- small bowl
- 2-quart pot with lid
- large bowl
- 1 cup quinoa (I used Trader Joe’s Tricolor Quinoa in the photo above.)
- 12 ounces fresh sweet corn (from the cob, or thawed from frozen)
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
- 4 plum tomatoes (diced)
- 2 large avocados (cubed
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- VINAIGRETTE – Whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients in the small bowl, and set aside.
- QUINOA - Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions. Transfer to the large bowl and cool.
- Toss the corn, parsley, and diced tomatoes with the quinoa. Gently fold in the avocadoes and the lemon vinaigrette, and allow to rest about 5 minutes, then serve.