Rice and Asparagus Salad

I came across this recipe as a side dish to a Food Network recipe for ham steaks with a chive sauce. Thing is, I like the side so very much more than the main course, even to including it in my Christmas feast menu, along side a tasty pineapple, honey, and brown sugar glazed ham.

Note: I wanted a blend of white and wild rice, so used a Near East blend.

Worked a treat.

Chive Sauce:
•1/3 cup mayonnaise
•1/3 cup sour cream
•1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
•1 tbsp whole-grain mustard – I used my fave zippy and sweet blend of equal parts Dijon, yellow mustard, and honey, blended with some Aleppo pepper (full recipe here)

Rice and Asparagus Salad:
•1 cup long-grain white rice
(see the above note)
•1/2 tsp Kosher salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1 tbsp unsalted butter
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 box frozen asparagus spears, thawed and cut into 1-inch pieces
•1 tbsp lemon juice

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Stir the chive sauce together in a medium bowl, then stash in the fridge in a covered container until need.

Prepare the rice (or white and wild rice blend) according to package instructions, adding the Kosher salt and black pepper if you are not using a mix. Do add the unsalted butter and the Sherry Peppers Sauce (if you’re using) to the rice as you cook it.

Note: I used my rice cooker; the rice mix, seasoning packet, called for amount of liquid, plus one tablespoon each of unsalted butter and Sherry Peppers Sauce.

Allow the rice to cool completely, then toss in a bowl with the sliced asparagus spears.

Stir in the lemon juice and about half of the Chive Sauce (use more of the sauce if you’d like a creamier salad). Toss to blend well, then cover and stash in the fridge for a couple of hours 0r, always more better, overnight, to allow the rice to soak up the sauce and the flavors to blend.

Nice salad!

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