Meatless Monday: Brown Rice Salad with Asparagus and Goat Cheese

Since the heat wave hasn't entirely passed, we're still keeping dinners simple. This rice salad from America's Test Kitchen is served room temperature -- and feel free to sub in different vegetables!

Photo courtesy America's Test KitchenBrown Rice Salad with Asparagus and Goat Cheese
Serves 6 to 8
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
Salt and pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vinegar or citrus juice

Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add rice and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, 22 to 25 minutes. Drain rice, transfer to parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet, and spread into even layer. Drizzle rice with vinegar or citrus juice and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of asparagus with tips pointed in 1 direction and remaining asparagus with tips pointed in opposite direction. Using tongs, arrange spears in even layer (they will not quite fit into single layer); cover and cook until bright green and still crisp, 2 to 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, season with salt and pepper to taste, and continue to cook until tender and well browned on 1 side, 5 to 7 minutes, using tongs to occasionally move spears from center to edge of pan to ensure all are browned. Transfer to plate and let cool completely. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Whisk olive oil, shallot, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in bowl. Transfer cooled rice to large bowl. Add asparagus, all but 2 tablespoons goat cheese, and dressing; toss to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Add 1/3 cup almonds and 3 tablespoons parsley; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with remaining almonds, reserved 2 tablespoons goat cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoon parsley; serve.

About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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