Italian Dinner Italian Lunch Italian Salads

How to Cook a Perfect and Zesty Rice Salad with Asparagus

asparagus rice salad

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


  1. 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.
  2. In the meantime, cut the asparagus into 1 or 1 ½ – inch pieces. Cut diagonally.
  3. 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.
  4. When done, rinse the asparagus in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and let it cool.
  5. 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.
  6. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper until well blended.
  7. Pour the mixture into a large bowl then add the rice, asparagus and scallions. Toss all to blend.
  8. Spoon into a large shallow bowl and sprinkle with the toasted pignoli and top with curls or shavings from your favorite cheese wedge.
  9. Serve and enjoy your Zesty Rice Salad with Asparagus!


Buon Mangiata!

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