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- Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients (balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dried tarragon, honey, Dijon mustard, black pepper and garlic) and set aside.
- Place quinoa in a 2-quart sauce pan. Add the water and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered.
- In the meantime, trim off a few inches of the asparagus stems and discard. Thinly slice the asparagus into 1/8- to 1/6-inch rounds and add to the quinoa with the shallots and almonds.
- Pour some of the vinaigrette over the mixture and toss to coat.