Lemony Minted Asparagus with Saffron Rice
30 minutes or fewer
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.
- 1½ cups white rice
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 9 green onions, sliced into
¼-inch lengths (⅔ cup)
- 1–2 small fresh red chiles,
thinly sliced (1 Tbs.)
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1½ lb. asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths (3 ½ cups)
- ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
- ¼ cup sliced mint leaves
- 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.
April/May 2012 p.30