Rice salad can definitely make an entire meal enjoyable and satisfying. With all the vegetable varieties from your local store or farmer’s market, the possibilities are endless!
- 1 cup long-grain rice – uncooked
- 1 lb. asparagus – trimmed, peeled, steamed
- ½ cup scallions – trimmed, diagonally cut, thin
- ¼ cup pignoli or slivered almonds
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice – freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- parmigiano or romano cheese shavings – for topping
- Add the rice to 2 cups of lightly salted boiling water and stir until well blended. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed, and the rice is tender. Uncover and let it stand until cooled, then fluff with a fork.
- In the meantime, cut the asparagus into 1 or 1 ½ – inch pieces. Cut diagonally.
- Place the cut asparagus in a vegetable steamer that is set over a simmering water. Let them be steam covered for a few minutes just until tender but still crisp.
- When done, rinse the asparagus in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and let it cool.
- Toast the pignoli in a small skillet over low heat for just about 2-3 minutes, constantly shaking the pan until they are golden in color.
- Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper until well blended.
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl then add the rice, asparagus and scallions. Toss all to blend.
- Spoon into a large shallow bowl and sprinkle with the toasted pignoli and top with curls or shavings from your favorite cheese wedge.
- Serve and enjoy your Zesty Rice Salad with Asparagus!