I’ve got two salads to share this week. They’re not the typical “lettuce” type salad; they’re more like grain salads. I’ve shared many of this type in the past, so if you’re interested in any of them, please take a look at my Salads category.
The best part about this type of salad is that they’re relatively simple to put together, that is, if you don’t have to take photos of them like I do for this blog. In the most basic sense, all you need to do is cook the grain, prepare a vinaigrette and toast some sort of nut. Every salad pretty much includes these three things. Once each area has been prepped, all you need to do is toss everything in a bowl and mix the ingredients together. If there are only two of you, as there are here with us, you should get a few night’s of dinner out of each. Or lunch. Whichever you choose. These things are good though. Good, easy and perfectly summer.
This particular salad contains brown rice, asparagus, almonds, basil, parsley and goat cheese. There are a few other minor ingredients as well, but nothing as important as those I just mentioned. The combination of ingredients is very well thought out and are complementary to one another. Everything really plays well off each other and I have to tell you that I was pleased with this dish last night. As usual, the salad didn’t fail.
2 Cups Long Grain Brown Rice
Ground Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
4 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Pound Asparagus, Trimmed and Cut into 1-Inch Pieces
1 Shallot, Minced
4 Ounces Goat Cheese, Crumbled
1/2 Cup Almonds, Chopped and Toasted
1/8 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1/8 Cup Fresh Basil, Chopped
I’d like to once again thank America’s Test Kitchen for this wonderful recipe. I found this one in The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook and it was awesome.
Cook the Rice
Bring four quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add two teaspoons of salt to the water and when it’s boiling, add the rice. Let the rice cook for 40 minutes or until it’s just tender. When it is, strain it through a colander. After that, spread the rice out on a large baking sheet to cool.
Toast the Almonds
Coarsely chop the almonds. Warm a small skillet over medium heat. When the pan is to temperature, add the almonds. Let the nuts toast for a few minutes, agitating them every so often. When you begin to smell them toasting, turn off the heat. They’re finished.
Make the Vinaigrette
In a medium sized bowl, add the lemon juice, three tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and the shallot. Whisk these ingredients together well.
Cook the Asparagus
Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the remaining one tablespoon of oil and when the pan is to temperature, add in the asparagus. Stir occasionally and let cook for a few minutes until you start to see brown spots on the asparagus skin. The asparagus should also be bright green. When you see this, turn off the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the rice, asparagus, vinaigrette, the basil and parsley and about 3/4 of the almonds.
Mix these ingredients together well.
Plate & Serve
Divide the salad between bowls. On top of each one, sprinkle the remaining almonds and the goat cheese. Serve and enjoy!
The Final Brown Rice Salad
Overall, I really enjoyed this dish. It’s tasty and it has a few good elements in it, such as the almonds, goat cheese and asparagus. If you decide to give this recipe a try, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below. Thanks for reading!