photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 6 servings. 

Zest and juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds asparagus
3 cups cooked brown rice
½ cup salted pistachios, shelled
⅓ cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely sliced

For vinaigrette: Whisk together zest and juice of 1 lemon, rice wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly. Set aside.

Trim 3 to 4 inches off the ends of the asparagus. Cut spears into 1-inch pieces, leaving the tips intact. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until crisp-tender. Remove from heat and strain into colander. Cover asparagus with ice to stop cooking process. 

Once asparagus has cooled, add to a large bowl and combine with 3 cups cooked brown rice. Pour vinaigrette over rice and asparagus mixture and toss. Add pistachios, green onions, and fresh mint leaves. Add additional salt to taste. Serve at room temperature.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.