Asparagus Rice Salad Recipe

I mentioned last week the discovery of a social networking site for foodies called Group Recipes. Within the first day of signing up on the site, I was warmly greeted by dancegypsy67 from Wisconsin. This past week or so we’ve been chatting back and forth about each others recipes.

She suggested I might enjoy her asparagus rice salad which blends a garlic infused balsamic vinegar with rice, asparagus, and smoked pork. I made the recipe last night and can’t get enough of it. The combination of flavors is slightly tangy with a gentle sweetness from the asparagus which is heightened by the smokey pork. The salad would be the perfect addition to a summer barbecue, as the vinegar gives it a light and refreshing punch.

I’ll admit I made one substitution in the recipe, which I swear was not intentional. Ok, I guess it was intentional since it didn’t magically happen, but it was not premeditated. Whole Foods didn’t have any smoked pork chops and I feared that ham wouldn’t do the trick. So, like any good boy raised in the Midwest, I substituted thick-cut bacon. And, I think it worked out well.

Asparagus Rice Salad

4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups jasmine or basmati rice, cooked
1/2 cup asparagus, tough ends removed, chopped, blanched
1 smoked pork chop
1/3 cup chopped green onions

Combine the vinegar, garlic, thyme, pepper, and salt. Let stand 1-2 hours or more. Remove garlic.

Pan fry the pork chop so that it develops some caramelization and becomes a little brown. Cut into small pieces when cool enough to handle.

Toss the rice, asparagus, pork chop and onions with the dressing. Season to taste with additional black pepper as desired.

Serve at room temperature.

Mmmmmm, the salad is good. I made a double batch and it’s already gone. A big ‘thank you’ to dancegypsy67 for allowing me to share her recipe with everyone! You’ll find both her and I on Group Recipes — come check us out.

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