I’m about to ask you a weirdo question. Ready?

What’s your favorite salad?

Odd I care about such a thing, no? But I love your guts. I want to know.

My ideal salad – like if I-was-about-to-bite-the-dust salad – includes butter lettuce topped with things like crispy bacon, avocado, gorgonzola, strawberries, mango, fresh herbs and some sort of warm crusted protein, like chicken or shrimp. WANT.

Second place would be a giant Caesar with freshly toasted, warm croutons and anchovies. Oh yes. Do the darn thing.

But let’s get serious: I’m not sure WHY on Earth my last meal would be a salad. But it’s my blog and I get to make the rules.

Whomp whomp.

If it’s just a regular old day, plain and boring and margarita-less, lettuce does not cut it for me. I’m perfectly capable of throwing together a salad that may sound somewhat appealing, but the minute I sit down to eat that mess? Ugh. Sad city. It’s like cracker boxes eat my arms or something. Then they get stuck in the cheese drawer. They may grab some grapes that Ryan Gosling is not hand-feeding me. (Why?) Then they eventually find their way to a previously hidden (but not really hidden at all) chocolate stash, until I’m waaaaaay too full to eat that salad.

Just how it is people. No way around it.

Soooo in order for me to actually EAT salads that I deem worthy of my chew, they have to be one of two things: a. lettuceless or b. a taco salad with copious amounts of cheddar cheese and seemingly half a bag of organic blue corn chips.

Which… sort of puts me and my mouth back at square one.

Oh. Except for the chips. Healthy since they are organic. That’s why I ate that entire organic chocolate bar last night. Full of health!

But these… these sorts of salads are ones I can get behind. Last year I had a… moment… with jasmine rice and seriously can’t.get.enough. When I finally found BROWN! jasmine rice you would have thought that James Taylor set up shop in my bedroom and sang me to sleep every night. I felt as though I hit the jackpot. I mean, jasmine rice is just so… jasminey.

Rice salads, quinoa salads, and every other salad with as few vegetables as possible rise to the top of my list. And! Asparagus has always been something I can handle in moderation (like a few bites every few weeks while in season) but now… I’ve been roasting it’s jewels off like I do with green beans and it might be something I can get behind.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though.

Springtime Jasmine Rice Salad

serves 2

12-15 asparagus spears, woody stems removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup uncooked brown jasmine rice

1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

1 shallot, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pint baby bella mushrooms, quartered

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

salt & pepper

Prepare rice according to directions on package, subbing in 1 cup chicken stock for the water. This will most likely take 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast for 20-22 minutes.

While asparagus is roasting, heat a large skillet oven medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sliced shallot with a pinch of salt. Saute until soft – about 3 minutes. Add in chopped mushrooms, tossing to coat, and let cook for 4-5 minutes until soft and juicy. Stir in garlic and cherries and cook for 30 seconds. Increase heat a bit and add wine, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Toss in rice and asparagus, then serve. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Also delicious served cold!

Oh PS: add bacon.

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98 Responses to “Springtime Jasmine Rice Salad.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    What a pretty salad and yesterday when I was on foodgawker (saw your cookies up there, too…congrats) but every other picture was asparagus (and I love asparagus) so this will fit right into that green theme and all the seasonal asparagus in my grocery store. Love the idea.


  2. #
    Janetha @ meals & moves — March 14, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    Looks incredible, Jess!


  3. #
    Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions — March 14, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    I definitely love a really good caesar salad, minus the croutons. Lately my other salad obsession has involved beets, arugula, and goat cheese… The other toppings can vary a bit but those three are the must-haves! And your asparagus pictures have me drooling… luckily I had roasted asparagus for dinner last night!


  4. #
    Danielle — March 14, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

    I guess I don’t have a favorite salad. I love southwest like versions. I love grilled chicken in it. And I am curious by any salad that include avocado in it!!! :)

    A salad has to have tomato too. :)


  5. #
    Kim in MD — March 14, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    I love salad and all veggies (don’t judge me, Jessica!), so it is hard for me to pick just one favorite salad. That said, this one looks so delicious! I can’t wait make this!


  6. #
    Katie — March 14, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    I like salads of all sorts. Rice, bacon, lettuce, whatever. I think my favorite is a grilled salad – ahh, my mouth is watering. And it goes perfectly with margaritas. As does all summery (grilled!) food. Yum town.


  7. #
    Carolyn — March 14, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

    Will definitely try this. I love love asparagus . It always reminds me of Grandpa Merchant’s garden up north. He always grew “asspergrass” as he called it. Lol :)


  8. #
    Chelsea@Chelsea Is Dishing Up — March 14, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

    I would eat this covered in a layer of parm!


  9. #
    Ali @ Around the VeggieTable — March 14, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    My last meal salad would have roasted beets, candied pecans, and copious amounts of goat cheese. Or we could just skip the other stuff and I’ll just take the cheese. Whatever.


  10. #
    Ashley {Kitchen Meets Girl} — March 14, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

    I LOVE it that you love James Taylor; in fact, “How Sweet It Is” was the song I most wanted played at my wedding reception. =)

    Also, this salad looks to. die. for. Love the asparagus and dried cherries! Right now I’ve been eating spinach salad (don’t judge!) with chunks of gala apple, toasted pecans and crumbled blue cheese–with a homemade balsamic vinegar/dijon mustard dressing.


  11. #
    Andrea — March 14, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

    Ahahaha. Your way around eating salads is toooo funny. This recipe looks incredible. My favorite salad? I am a weirdo and actually have a huge affinity for vegetables… but I can’t eat a boring salad either. (that lettuce, tomato, crouton, and ranch dressing of my every dinner during childhood? ugh) My favorite salad as of late: butter lettuce, baby spinach, shredded carrots and chopped purple cabbage (for color and crunch), chopped green onion, cilantro, and this faaabulous thai dressing that I scored for 25 cents on discount where I work. I add in some chicken or quinoa for protein, depending what I have on hand.


  12. #
    Noemi — March 14, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    Eat’n Park’s Spinach Strawberry Chicken salad with the Poppyseed dressing. It’s so special to me. I am an uber loyal former employee of Eat’n Park, where I worked as a hostess and emergency baker (like when the regular baker goes on vacation). I love that place to bits and pieces. Personally, I love the ENP at the Waterfront or North Versailles, not a big fan of the ones in McKeesport or Monroeville. Haven’t visited too many others of note. Mmmm…. poppyseed dressing.


  13. #
    Naomi — March 14, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    I want to be your neighbor! I love your food an eating style! Great recipe.


  14. #
    Ashley — March 14, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    I’m on a salad kick too. I love the look of this one.


  15. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — March 14, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

    ok for real….these pictures are AWESOME. i want to bury my face in my computer screen…


  16. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — March 14, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    What a gorgeous salad. Your first dream salad really got me craving the exact same thing. Thanks for sharing, Jessica! Keep up the delicious, creative recipes.


  17. #
    Margarita — March 14, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    Never heard of a jasmine rice salad… but I’m on this… This looks wonderful!


  18. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — March 14, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    This looks like a salad I just might be interested in :)


  19. #
    Jen — March 14, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    I have never tasted dried cherries before. I guess there are still new things out there to try.


  20. #
    Julia {the roasted root} — March 14, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

    With the exception of the dried cherries, I have all ingredients for this recipe on hand! YES! This looks awesome – I am a regular purchaser of mushrooms and asparagus because I can’t get enough of them – they’re so easy to use in any veggie dish. I love that you roasted the asparagus. The whole thing looks great!


  21. #
    Amber @ The Cook's Sister — March 14, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    Fantastic looking salad! It looks perfect for preparing ahead of time and taking to school/work for a lunch.


  22. #
    Amber — March 14, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

    anything with caramelized onions, love roasted sweet potato on a salad too, or mexican chicken salad- shredded chicken, romaine, scallions, black beans, chopped cherry tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, chopped jicama, and dressing of sour cream/avocado/garlic/lime juice


  23. #
    lydia — March 14, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

    Dinner tonight! Yay!

    I like to make my leftovers from dinner into a salad that I can tote to work (mainly so people don’t judge me). And weird things get into my salads. Things like….last nights chili on top of my spinach…or the salmon i grilled and then added a ton of weird things to like oranges, almonds, green onions and mayyyybe some krispy kale. I always have to have something crunchy in my salad (lettuce doesn’t count for “crunch”)


  24. #
    Kindra @ wickfreeforever.com — March 14, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    I don’t have a favorite salad, I guess you could say I am stuck in a salad rut lol. This recipe looks new and different I don’t think of rice normally in a sald but maybe ill make this for our next carry in work and use them as my lab rats :)


  25. #
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips — March 14, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    Your favorite salad sounds a lot like mine. Fruit and cheese (preferably parmesan or a good, sharp cheddar) on lettuce. But this rice salad sounds wonderful. I love asparagus and mushrooms. I’ll have to look for brown jasmine rice, and maybe add some chicken to this, since my husband won’t cal’ it a meal unless there is meat.


  26. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — March 15, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    That salad looks incredible … and I love asparagus, mostly because it makes pee smell funny 8-)


  27. #
    Nancy @ CouponClippingCook — March 15, 2012 @ 12:18 am

    Such a healthy salad and looks so delish. Love the asparagus and dried cherries together.


  28. #
    Amy — March 15, 2012 @ 12:31 am

    Hilarious! You could have written about dog food and I would have eaten it up… Figuratively speaking, of course. :)
    Great post; thanks for sharing!


  29. #
    Emilia — March 15, 2012 @ 6:15 am

    My last salad would probably be spinach with strawberries, toasted walnuts and goats cheese. Or these amazing side-salads they have at Tartine in New York.
    This, however, looks like it could definitely be in the running. Asparagus and mushrooms are a match made in heaven! :)


  30. #
    Melissa O — March 15, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    Love salads! Can’t wait to try this one too. I love your recipes. I think my friend and I have tried almost everything on here. My favorite salad right now is Siba’s Salmon Salad(in Seven Fields..so worth the drive).


  31. #
    Katie @ OhShineOn — March 15, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    I like the idea of this dish a lot. Unlike you, I LOVE salads, but I am getting bored. Maybe I should switch things up a bit? I’ve never tried jasmine rice, well, because, I just haven’t. But I do have quinoa in my pantry. Maybe I could give that a go? Maybs?


  32. #
    Erin — March 15, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    I definitely made this as a side for dinner last night, and the bf and I both thought it was absolutely delicious. I can’t wait for lunch so I can eat the leftovers. Thanks for all the great recipes that leave me drooling at my desk every morning!


    • Jessica — March 15th, 2012 @ 10:57 am

      So glad you liked it!


  33. #
    Katie (Sweet Tater) — March 15, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    i want that first picture hanging in my kitchen.


  34. #
    Marianne Hertel — March 15, 2012 @ 11:18 am

    Thank you for this rice salad recipe!! Ihave a rice salad recipe that has smoked sausage,celery,onion,black and green olives,mozzarella cheese,etc. We love it! I can’t wait to try this one!! :)


  35. #
    Sarah — March 15, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    That looks fantastic! Question – what makes it a salad? Or are you just calling it that so it sounds healthier??!


  36. #
    Lisa @ Life in Green — March 15, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    This is such a me salad. Thanks for the inspiration!


  37. #
    Clare — March 15, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    Made this salad today for lunch – it’s incredible!


  38. #
    kelly — March 15, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    Made it tonight! So delicious and filling. I also had roasted almonds at the end for some crunch… Next time I will opt for the bacon to provide the crunch! Can’t wait for cold leftovers for lunch tomorrow :)


  39. #
    Katie@Cozydelicious — March 17, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

    This salad looks amazing! A perfcet make-ahead lunch to take to work. I am a huge fan of both asperagus and mushrooms, but I bet all sorts of veggies would be yummy here.


  40. #
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips — March 24, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    From the second I read this recipe, I thought it sounded amazing, and I’ve wanted to make it. I finally made a little variation on this last night, but I couldn’t find brown jasmine rice, and I had millet in the pantry, which I have been wanting to try. The flavors were so good. I just ate some out of the fridge after I already had lunch. And I’ll probably finish it off for dinner tonight. Your P.S. says to add bacon – I am actually thinking either goat cheese or blue cheese, since I don’t have any bacon right now.



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