Linda's recipes

Rice with Asparagus

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 118

A rice dish with asparagus and parmesan- it is a little like an asparagus risotto but by using long-grain rice it remains fluffy and does not take on a creamy risotto consistency. It is great with a salad or another main course, preferably a stew with flavoursome sauce.

Linda recommends using part wild rice and part long grain rice, which I have tried. The problem seems to be that wild rice takes longer to cook than white rice and that during cooking time the wild rice’s dark colour tints the white rice as well. If you really want to have white and dark grains of rice, you need to cook the two separately and then mix before serving.

The asparagus used is also briefly sautéed at the beginning and then boiled with the rice until the rice has finished cooking. This way the asparagus turns very soft, which I would like to avoid. Therefore I chose to add the asparagus pieces only a few minutes (8?) before the rice was done to allow the asparagus to preserve some of its bite. Unfortunately, the asparagus was also coloured in a greyish shade by the wild rice. So again, wild rice might not be the first choice for a dish where all ingredients are cooked together (or you need to add the cooked wild rice to the dish shortly before serving. I have also seen mixes of wild and white rice in the shops and know that they work well when cooking them together. So maybe the mixes use another variety of wild rice or are treated in a special way to avoid that the dark colour spreads?)

Overall, the dish had a very pleasant taste and was a quite light main course that can easily be combined with other dishes or any salad. I think that using green asparagus for this recipe (I used white asparagus and there is no specification in the recipe about what to use) would make it more attractive to look at. Additionally, the slightly more intense flavour of the green asparagus would go well with the other flavours in this recipe,

Vegan: I think there is no need to use any parmesan in this recipe, so you could just omit the cheese. If you like, you could also use some vegan “parmesan”.

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