Cilantro Black Rice with Garlic Scapes and Asparagus

  • 1 cup black rice, rinsed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, minced (reserve the stems)
  • 1 small bunch basil, minced
  • 4-5 garlic scapes, sliced thin (about 1/8 inch)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed and sliced in 1 inch pieces
  • juice + zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons roasted + salted almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
  • extra virgin olive oil for roasting and topping off
  • large grain sea salt + fresh ground pepper

in a medium saucepan, combine rice, cilantro stems (you can use one stem to tie a bundle of them), a big pinch of large grain salt and 2 cups of water.  bring to a boil, stir and cover for 30-35 minutes, until all water is absorbed.  remove from heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes.  when ready to serve, discard cilantro stems and fluff with a fork

while the rice is cooking preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.  in a large bowl, combine scapes, asparagus, and lemon zest; season with sea salt and pepper, and coat evenly with olive oil (roughly 2 teaspoons).  turn out onto prepared baking sheet and arrange the veggies in an even layer – roast for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through, but with some bite left

in a small sandwich bag, combine the almonds and paprika; using a rolling pin, crush the nuts until roughly broken, set aside

in large serving bowl, combine the rice,  scape and asparagus mix, half the spiced almonds and about 3/4 of the minced herbs, drizzle with some good olive oil and add lemon juice; taste and check for seasoning, adding salt + pepper accordingly.  garnish with remaining almonds and herbs.  serve and enjoy!

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