New recipes

Asparagus Rice Pilaf

Asparagus Rice Pilaf

Molly Aronica

Asparagus Rice Pilaf

This side dish is great with almost everything — from grilled chicken breasts to pork stir-fry. Sliced almonds or cashews would be a wonderful addition to this pilaf as well.

Click here to see Awesome Asparagus Recipes.


  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 Cup basmati rice, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 Cup fresh scallions, finely chopped

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Bring 3 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in large saucepan. Add asparagus cook 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus with a slotted spoon rinse under cold water, and set aside. Add rice and butter to cooking liquid cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Set aside.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and eggs in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Add 3/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons chives, basil, lemon rind, and pepper stir well. Stir egg mixture into hot rice. Stir in asparagus cook rice mixture over low heat for 1 minute or until mixture is thoroughly heated. Top with 1 tablespoon each of cheese and chives.

Asparagus Rice Pilaf

In celebration of asparagus season I decided to develop an asparagus rice pilaf recipe for you asparagus lovers out there. I have been eating asparagus almost every day for over two weeks and still am not tired of it. I usually only buy locally grown so I expect the season around here is going to be over in about two weeks and I’ll be done with fresh asparagus until next year. I admit to buying the South American asparagus occasionally when I just have to have it, but I never said I was 100% locavore!

Asparagus is so versatile you can put it in salads in its raw, grilled, or blanched form. To grill asparagus on over charcoal with a bit of olive oil, herbs and spices is true summer bliss. It goes great with Asian foods like a chicken and asparagus stir fry or even a hot sour soup with asparagus. In soups it really shines whether hot or cold. I love the recipe I developed two years ago for a chilled asparagus soup using almond milk. You can find it here: The problem with most hot asparagus soups when dining out it the amount of heavy cream restaurants like to use.

a little help from Tucker

What I had in mind was a rice dish using asparagus that would pair well with fresh Alaska salmon that is just showing up in local grocery stores and Costco. I served a nice salmon burger, and a side of stir fried bokchoy and Thai basil with the asparagus rice pilaf last night with great results. This rice dish would go well with grilled chicken, pork chops or shrimp. It’s fast, easy and healthy like almost every recipe I develop and hope you will give it a try and leave a comment on how it turned out. And by all means pair it with a hunk of grilled Alaska salmon and a chilled Pinot Gris, or Pinot Noir for a winning combination.

add the asparagus and cook a few minutes more

Asparagus Rice Pilaf

2 cups Uncle Ben’s Converted rice, or other similar rice

1/2 cup minced yellow or white onion

1/2 cup fresh celery chopped

1/3 cup diced fresh carrots

1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon chicken base

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, optional

In a 2 1/2 quart pot on high heat bring water, onion, celery, butter and chicken base to a boil.

Add carrots and rice and return to a boil.

Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook covered for 8 minutes.

Add asparagus and stir in well.

Lower heat a bit and cook 5 to 10 more minutes or until most water is absorbed.

Let sit for 5 minutes covered or serve right a way.

*About a half pound of asparagus yields 1 1/2 cups of one inch pieces after trimming away the tough 2-3 inches from the bottom of the stalks.

Rice Pilaf with Asparagus + Peas

While I love to experiment with new recipes, sometimes I just want to eat simply. Few ingredients, few tools… just the basics. This sometimes is the best way to highlight a certain food in this case, asparagus!

I simply made a white wine sauce of sorts to cook the rice in, steamed and sautéed peas with asparagus, and topped with thinly sliced asparagus flash cooked to make it fancy! It’s simple and easily modified to match your tastes! Instead of rice you can easily use pasta, just cook the pasta as directed and toss in the white wine sauce with the veggies! Pasta is a quicker option, but I wanted the nutrients from the wild rice blend.

Start with garlic and a shallot (easily subbed for an onion if you have that on hand) and sauté in butter and oil. If you are lacto-free skip the butter and use a little more oil. The butter helps to bind the rice in the sauce, but it is still very good without it. Cook the garlic and shallots until translucent. When they begin to stick to the pan, add a little white wine (I usually pour it right from my glass!) and let most of the liquid cook out. Now add the rice, red pepper flakes, and whatever dried herbs you’d like to use! This time I stuck with salt and pepper. Simple. I stir the rice allowing it to absorb the flavors of the wine, garlic and shallot— about 3 minutes. Remember Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat? Same concept. When the rice starts to pop, add chicken broth. If you don’t have chicken broth, use water and add more salt. Easy peasy!

On high, bring the liquid to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Cook according to the package and how much rice you used. Usually around 45 minutes. Here is where this recipe stumps me sometimes. Rice is a waiting game. Releasing the steam does not help the process! I am extremely impatient so I am mainly talking to myself here. Put on a timer and forget about the rice. Focus on the asparagus to distract yourself from inevitably removing the lid and checking if the rice is done before the timer goes off.

Nothing is worse than enjoying a wonderfully cooked stalk of asparagus, and then biting down on the end only to not be able to chew that last perfect bite. Mary Parker recently taught me a good way to avoid this. You simply pick on stalk and bend it toward the base until it breaks. Where is breaks is about where the good asparagus ends and the inedible stem begins. Then use this stalk as your guide for the rest, breaking them in the same place so that most of your asparagus will be the same length. Now cut your asparagus into bite sized pieces.

When your rice is about 10 minutes away from being ready heat up a half a cup of water in a separate pan. Throw in your asparagus and frozen or fresh peas. allow to steam in the pan for 5 minutes. Drain excess water and add a tablespoon of olive oil, along with a dash of salt and pepper. About another 5 minutes. Once the rice is finished, stir in butter (again, if you are lacto- free, skip this step) chopped parsley, lemon zest, and veggies.

For garnish, I simply used a vegetable peeler and peel strips of asparagus, then flash cook them in olive oil, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes for about 1 minute. I top the rice with my peeled asparagus and parmesan. The fresh lemon juice and salty cheese really add depth to this simple dish, plus it looks pretty!

Rice with Mushroom and Asparagus

This Rice with Mushroom and Asparagusrecipe makes a perfect summer side dish for you and your family! It’s a quick and easy rice recipe that uses veggies, and fresh parsley and feta for garnishing.

Hey, guys! How are you?

First, I would like to start this post with an apology. These past days I wasn’t here a lot. The last time I posted a recipe was Tuesday when I shared with you my favorite beans with sausage recipe. If you keep up with my blog, you may know my family was here for three weeks. I just wanted to spend all my time with them. They live in Brazil and we don’t see each other as much as I wish. They left Canada today and I am a little sad. I already miss them a lot! It is so good to have everybody you love beside you. I just feel happier when we are all together. Family is the best thing we have in life. But I am lucky that my in-laws are from Canada and I get the chance to visit them often too.Food always helps cheer me up when I am sad, especially recipes that remind me of my childhood. As I already said a thousand times on this blog, Brazilians love rice and as a good Brazilian girl, I am a huge fan of this yummy grain. So once more, I switched things up by adding mushrooms and asparagus to my traditional rice recipe like I did with my Leek Kalamata Rice and it was delicious.

I love this recipe because it comes together in less than 15 minutes and doesn’t require any complicated steps. Sounds pretty good to me! This recipe makes a perfect summer side dish for you and your family! It’s a quick and easy rice recipe that uses veggies, and fresh parsley and feta for garnishing. This simple dish has all your sides covered and pairs really well with beans made in a pressure cooker, some type of meat like rosemary and lemon roasted chicken breasts, roasted lemon chicken legs, or my foil baked salmon recipe. One last thing, you can read through my instructions on how to make fluffy rice if you want a quick refresher on how to cook your rice. I hope you enjoy this recipe and get inspired to give it a try.

List of Ingredients

  • 450 G of asparagi
  • 350 G of riso
  • 60 G of burro più un po’
  • 40 G of vino bianco
  • 3 of tuorli
  • una foglia di alloro
  • un chiodo di garofano
  • mezza cipolla
  • succo di limone
  • grana grattugiato
  • olio extravergine di oliva
  • sale


Clean the asparagus, removing the tough end and peeling the rest of the stalks with a potato peeler. Then place in a saucepan with 2 ladles of water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and cook for 8-10 minutes. Drain the asparagus and filter the cooking liquid.

Make the asparagus broth: In a saucepan, mix 1/4 pound of the sliced asparagus stalks, the filtered cooking liquid, 2 2/3 cups of water, and a little salt. Blend it all in a blender or food processor, then return it to the pan and bring to a boil.

Stick the clove into the onion and make a cut in the onion so you can insert a bay leaf. Brown the onion in an ovenproof saucepan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil starts to sizzle, add the rice and stir briefly, then add the hot broth, a little at a time.

As soon as the liquid starts boiling again, cover the saucepan and bake it at 400°F for 16-18 minutes. When done, flip the rice over onto a tray and spread it out with a spoon so that it cools down evenly.

Cut the tips and stems of the asparagus in half lengthwise and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with the grated cheese, season with a pat of melted butter, and broil for 4 minutes.

Make the egg sauce: Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan and set it aside. In a pot, bring the wine and 3 tablespoons of water to a boil. After 1 minute, remove from heat and add a pinch of salt. Whisk in the egg yolks. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Cook the sauce in a bain marie until it reaches a creamy consistency, then incorporate the melted butter.

Sauté the rice pilaf in a pan with 1/4 cup of olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Then use the ring of a springform pan to form it into a round shape on a plate. Press it lightly, then remove the ring. Top with the baked asparagus and serve with the egg sauce. Garnish with a few marjoram leaves if desired.

Rice-a-Roni Upgrade: Rice Pilaf with Crab, Leeks, Asparagus & Peas

1. In a large saucepan with a lid, melt 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add the pasta. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the rice. Cook, stirring often, until toasted, about a minute season with salt and pepper. Add the stock. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the asparagus, leek, peas, chile, and garlic. Cook, tossing often, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Push the vegetables to the sides of pan. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp. butter in the center of the pan. Add the crab season with the thyme and Old Bay. Stir in the sherry. Cook, tossing often, until the crab is heated through, about 1 minute. Toss in the rice and pasta. Mix in the lemon juice and herbs. Serve in shallow bowls.

Asparagus and Rice Casserole

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half and half
2 cups cooked white rice
2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Turn the broiler to high. Grease an 8-inch baking dish with non-stick oil spray.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water.

When the water is boiling, add half of the asparagus and cook until the asparagus is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the prepared ice water and repeat with remaining asparagus. When all of the asparagus is cooked, remove from the ice bath, pat dry and cut into 3/4-inch pieces.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until its raw flavor is cooked out, about 3 minutes.

Add the half and half, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the rice and asparagus and cook, stirring, just until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese until it melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Sorghum is an extremely versatile grain that you can serve like rice or quinoa or other whole grains.You can cook sorghum grain using your stovetop, slow cooker, oven, rice cooker or whatever option you prefer to prepare your favorite meals. Whole grain sorghum adds a hearty, nutty flavor to your favorite recipes. Use it in salads and in place of pasta and rice. Sorghum grain can also be toasted as a crunchy addition to a tossed salad. Be sure to check out our cooking tips library and get started with new and exciting recipes today.

Because I live in Paris part time, and because that time is never the same from year to year, I’ve gotten to see the markets in every season. I’ve been there when the fragrance of strawberries can make you dizzy, when the stalls are piled with poultry in full plumage (a Christmas favorite), when all there is that’s “fresh” is potatoes, when there are so many varieties of apples that you need to shop with a botanist, and when, just about now, asparagus spears (green, white and white with violet tips) are arranged in pyramids so tall it’s impossible to see the vendor behind them. The French make a big deal about asparagus, and I applaud them for it. It’s not just a wonderful vegetable: It’s a sign of hope and happiness, the harbinger of all the other spring vegetables and summer fruits to come.

No sooner does asparagus turn up than it’s on every menu. You can pretty much be assured that when you’re invited to a friend’s home for dinner, there will be asparagus to start the meal or to partner with a main course. My French friends will eat asparagus several times a week, because they know that the season is short and that it will be a year before they’ll have it again.

Like mes amis, I frequently serve asparagus solo. But I love to play with the vegetable and pop it into other dishes. Do it right, and even the simplest dishes can be made to seem luxurious.

That’s what happens with this rice. On its own, the rice is rich and satisfying. Add asparagus and it’s elegant.

Although the rice may remind you of risotto, it’s actually a cross between a pilaf and boiled rice ordinaire. The last-minute additions of cream and cheese give it the lush texture we love in risotto, without the 30 minutes of stirring. You can call it a cheat I think of it as culinary magic.

To give the rice layers of flavor and texture, I also add sauteed shallots, garlic and sliced asparagus stalks as well as fresh, crisp sliced scallions and lots of fresh herbs. It’s always fun, and delicious, to add something fresh and bright to a cooked dish. Before the rice goes to the table — and I usually send it out as a starter — I finish the dish with asparagus tips.

Takeaway tips

Be picky about your asparagus. Choose medium-thick spears (you can use pencil asparagus, but chubby stalks are not right here) that are firm, and look for tips that are tight. Wrinkled spears and blossoming tips are signs of age.

Cut or break off the woody bottoms — spears usually have a natural breaking point — and carefully peel away the skin up to an inch or two below the tip.

Opt for arborio rice or another round rice that you would use for risotto, but treat it like a pilaf: Warm oil in a saucepan, add the rice and stir it until it’s coated. Pour in the wine and enjoy the sound of the sizzle as it hits the pan and starts to bubble. Let the wine cook away before adding the liquid.

Choose a lightly flavored broth, either vegetable (in which case the whole dish will be vegetarian) or chicken. And use a flavorful cheese: Parm, pecorino Romano and asiago are good, but so is cheddar or a blend of cheeses. Because I always have shredded sharp cheddar in the refrigerator, that’s normally what I use.

Think of this as a master recipe you can customize as the seasons change. I can’t wait until there are garlic scapes to mix into the rice (boil them for just a minute before stirring them in) and, when summer rolls around, corn off the cob. In colder weather, think mushrooms or squash.

For now, I’m doing what my French friends do: eating asparagus early and often. And when asparagus are no longer available, I’ll make the rice with peas (so good), garlic scapes, mushrooms or just a lot of lemon zest.

Photograph by Deb Lindsey. This story originally appeared in my Everyday Dorie column in the Washington Post.

PS: I received a message from a friend, Robert Jay Levine, saying that he’d made this recipe and loved it – actually, he said he was skeptical at first, but followed the directions on faith (and friendship) and was both surprised and happy with what he got. Here’s a picture of Bob’s beautiful faux-risotto.