This fresh, hearty side dish will stand out among its richer, creamier counterparts on the holiday table. We achieved perfectly cooked brown rice by boiling it in abundant water. Sprinkling the rice with bright lemon juice while it was still warm boosted its flavor.
To easily turn our brown rice into an appealing side salad, we stirred in crisp, browned bites of asparagus, more lemon juice, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy toasted almonds. We like the flavor of brown basmati rice, but any long-grain brown rice is acceptable. Look for asparagus that is bright green and firm.
Toast the almonds in a skillet (without any oil) set over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent scorching.
BROWN RICE SALAD WITH ASPARAGUS AND GOAT CHEESE
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes
1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Asparagus and vinaigrette:
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
Nutrition information per serving: 347 calories; 148 calories from fat; 16 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 8 mg cholesterol; 861 mg sodium; 41 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 11 g protein.
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