Lemony Minted Asparagus with Saffron Rice Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Lemony Minted Asparagus with Saffron Rice

With fresh mint and lemon zest accenting asparagus spears, this stir-fry captures the brightness of spring. If you can’t find toasted sliced almonds, toast your own for 3 to 5 minutes in a 300°F oven.



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1½ cups white rice
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3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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1 pinch saffron threads
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1 Tbs. vegetable oil
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9 green onions, sliced into 
¼-inch lengths (⅔ cup)
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1–2 small fresh red chiles, 
thinly sliced (1 Tbs.)
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2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
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1½ lb. asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths (3 ½ cups)
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½ cup toasted sliced almonds
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¼ cup sliced mint leaves
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2 lemons, cut into wedges, for garnish


1. Combine rice and broth in large saucepan, and crumble in saffron threads. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat wok over high heat, until water droplets evaporate within 1 second. Add oil, swirl to coat pan, then add green onions, chiles, and garlic; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until onions turn bright green and soften. Add asparagus, and stir-fry 2 minutes more, or until asparagus is bright green and tender. Remove from heat, stir in almonds and mint, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Fluff rice, and spoon onto serving plate. Top with asparagus mixture. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Information: 

7 g
Total Fat: 
7 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
47 g
0 mg
81 mg
3 g
3 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

This was OK but turned out a bit dry. Next time I make I'll try adding some of the broth to the asparagus mixture.

This was absolutely repulsive. Inedible! Going to call for a pizza now.

Not sure about the other comments. It turned out great for me. I substituted red pepper flakes for the red chiles, and dried mint for fresh mint. I give it a great review, and highly recommend.

I cooked this for a potluck with some friends and it was a big hit. I used red pepper flakes instead of the chillies (it's essentially the same thing) and I squeezed the lemon juice over top and mixed it all together. My only con is I felt it's missing something, but I can't figure what. Definitely will be cooking it again!

Delicious! My new favorite way to eat asparagus.

I thought this was a nice change from the usual grilled asparagus recipe I always use. I made it as written but with dried chile flakes and I'll definitely put it in my recipe file to make again sometime.


I made this for a gathering and thought it tasted OK when it was fresh, but it didn't taste like much when I reheated the leftovers. I used dried pepper flakes and combined the rice and other ingredients together, so that might be why it didn't retain it's flavor.

Can't wait to try this.

Loved it! Fantastic fresh taste. Put fresh mint at the end and used dried red chilli flakes. My new favourite asparagus dish 5*

Is there any substitute for saffron?