Wednesday, May 21, 2008

spring wild rice salad

Spring Wild Rice Salad 3

I'm sure I've waxed poetic here more than once about my love of Pike Place Market in Seattle. The produce is fresh, the flowers are gorgeous and cheap, and the surrounding restaurants and food stands have mouth-watering offerings. However, I don't think I have mentioned the nearby shops yet. (You were waiting with bated breath, weren't you?) One of my favorite places is Antiques at Pike Place. Perhaps their turnover is really high or maybe the vendors just make a point to rotate their wares frequently, but either way you can always count on seeing new trinkets and treasures every time you go. On my last visit two weeks ago, I was delighted to find a wheelbarrow out front full of random saucers and luncheon plates. (A food bloggers dream, for certain, since a new pattern breaks up the monotony of everyday plate pictures.) I want to move soon so it seems impractical to purchase more things only to pack them up in a few weeks, but I did pick out one plate that I just couldn't leave behind. What do you think?

I can't give a fair, all-encompassing review of this recipe because I didn't follow the directions...because I didn't read them very well...oops. And on top of my shoddy direction reading, I tried to take a few shortcuts. For example, I thought I could cut out some time if I just threw the asparagus in with the peas for the last minute of cooking. This would have worked like a charm if I had done it soon enough, but I waited until the peas were already thoroughly cooked, so that extra minute with the asparagus turned them into pea mush. Delicious pea mush, though. My bigger mistake, however, was failing to notice that I was only supposed to put half of the dressing on the salad. I, of course, didn't reference the recipe and dumped it all in, which left me with an overly lemony salad. Despite all my mistakes, though, the salad was still pretty good. I especially liked the addition of goat cheese and thought it really made the salad pop, so unlike Heidi's original recipe, I'm not listing it as an optional ingredient.

Spring Wild Rice Salad
A recipe from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks
Serves 8 as a side

1 1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed
3/4 cup dried yellow split peas
1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
1/4 cup almond butter
Zest of one lemon
Scant 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Scant 1/4 cup hot water
Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
1 bunch chives, chopped
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

In a medium sauce pan bring the rice and 4 1/2 cups salted water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes or until rice is tender and splitting open, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.

In a large sauce pan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the split peas and cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Drain, salt to taste, and set aside.

Whisk together the garlic, almond butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil in a small bowl. Add the hot water to thin the mixture and then add the sea salt. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan full of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the asparagus. Cook until the asparagus is just bright and tender, about 1 minute. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

In a large bowl toss together the wild rice, peas, asparagus, and half of the almond dressing. Season with salt to taste and add more dressing if needed. Serve topped with chives and crumbled goat cheese.

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