Barbara Barnes cooks up a green theme in the CTV Kitchen ahead of St. Patrick’s Day. Barnes cooks up an Asparagus, Tomato and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad with Bacon-topped Pea and Mint Crostini.

Asparagus, Tomato and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 cup (250 ml) quinoa
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Sensations by Compliments First Cold Press Extra Virgin 100% Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) each of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (250 ml) halved Compliments Grape Tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh Compliments Basil
  • ¼ cup (56 g) Sensations by Compliments Herbs & Garlic Goat Cheese Crumbles

Directions: Cook quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, blanch asparagus in boiling water with tough ends removed for about a minute. Transfer asparagus to ice water bath to stop cooking. Drain once cooled, roughly chop then set aside.

Whisk together extra virgin, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Mix in cooked and cooled quinoa, grape tomatoes, basil and asparagus.

Transfer to serving bowl and top with herb & garlic goat cheese crumbles.

Bacon-topped pea & mint Crostini

Makes 24

  • 2 cups (500 ml) frozen Compliments petite peas
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh Compliments Mint
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) plain yogurt
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) each of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) Sensations by Compliments First Cold Pressed Extra Virgin 100% Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 loaf (325 g) of ciabatta baguette, sliced into 24 pieces
  • 4 strips Compliments Fully Cooked Bacon, 50% Less Salt, thinly sliced

Directions: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Pour peas into a strainer and defrost with running warm water. Drain well and transfer peas to paper-towel-lined tray to dry. In a blender, puree peas, garlic, mint, yogurt, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil until just combined.

Brush tops of bread with remaining oil and place them in a single layer onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Toast in oven for 5 min. or until golden brown. Remove from oven, spread about 2 tbsp (30 ml) pea mixture onto each toast and garnish with sliced bacon.