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!
Brown 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.