Asparagus and Brown Rice Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette and Toasted Almonds

Spring is here, which makes me a happy girl. I always forget how bored am with winter food until spring arrives to surprise me with its amazing bounty. Asparagus, artichokes, dandelion greens, fava beans, sugar snap peas, green garlic. Aw, how I love you all. Last week I had my annual Spring Greens cooking class. We made some amazing things however the real crowd pleaser was Asparagus and Brown Rice Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette and Toasted Almonds. OHMIGOD! It was really good. I mean, so good that attendees fought over the leftovers. I'm making it again tonight and this time adding a can of garbanzos for a little extra protein. You could also use almond or walnut (rather than olive) oil in the dressing to mix it up.

Spring Asparagus and Brown Rice Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette and Toasted Almonds

Makes 6 servings. Feel free to use any grain you like. You could throw in left over quinoa, farro, or barley. Also, be sure to add the dressing slowly. Taste as you go so as not to over dress the salad. Enjoy!

For the dijon vinaigrette...

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove or shallot, finely minced or pureed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salad...

  • 1/2 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in 1-inch pieces and steamed/blanched 4 minutes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 cups brown rice, freshly made or leftover
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, tarragon, marjoram
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, mustard and garlic. Whisk in the oil, taste and adjust seasonings.

Toss at once with the warm rice.

Add the asparagus and the remaining ingredients, and toss together. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.

To reheat left over rice: Place cold rice in a small pot with ¼-1/2 cup of water (depending on amount of rice). Bring to medium heat and let steam for 4-5 minutes, or until water has evaporated. Remove rice from the heat and mix with your dressing.

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