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Author Notes: The flavors in this beautiful brown rice salad really pop! Sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and bright, tangy orange segments – Yum! —garlic and zest
For the salad:
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 cups water
- 1/2 pound asparagus spears, cut into 1" pieces
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
- 2 oranges, supremed
- 1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced or torn
- 6 ounces arugula
For the vinaigrette:
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water (4-5 cups) add salt and bring to a boil. Add rice and reduce heat to a vigorous simmer for 25-30 minutes, until rice is "al dente". Strain rice through a sieve and return it to the saucepan. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and let the rice cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, make an ice bath by adding ice and water to a medium bowl, set aside. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly tender and bright green. With a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to the ice bath to stop the cooking and preserve the bright green color. Drain the asparagus on paper towels.
- In a large bowl combine the blanched asparagus, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and orange segments. Add cooled rice and toss to combine. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the lemon zest and juice, garlic, dijon mustard, olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Whisk to combine. When emulsified add 3-4 tablespoons of the dressing to the rice salad and toss well. If it needs more dressing, add it 1 tablespoon at a time, so that it's lightly coated.
- Just before serving, add the basil and toss to combine. Serve on a bed of arugula