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Food Food & Entertaining Health Recipe Remix

Recipe Remix: Warm Asparagus & Coconut Rice Salad with Spinach & Mint Pistou

I’m an avid believer that the key to success in any situation is to be inspired by your surroundings, to be able to think on your feet and to improvise. Hence my tendency to look at a recipe as more of a convenient advice column rather than a concrete instruction manual. I hardly ever follow a recipe to a tee because as a businesswoman and working professional, for the sake of time, I tend to substitute certain ingredients and cook with what I have on hand rather than make specific trips to the market just for one particular ingredient.

So when I came across this perfect recipe for a light and fresh Spring meal from Sprouted Kitchen, but failed to have at least half the ingredients within a fifty foot radius, I decided to improvise and freewheel it. And to my surprise, I turned something utterly French into something deliciously Thai inspired and beyond satisfying. Sometimes the most successful dishes are the accidentally inspired ones.


Serves 4

Recipe adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

I used coconut rice instead of the suggested brown rice to give it some extra fragrance, richness and depth to the citrus. Any variety of rice and beans are fine. Cooking times will vary. To save yourself time, you may purchase pre cooked frozen rice or at your local Chinese or Thai takeout. Also, the beans provide enough protein that this dish can be served as either a main or a side dish.


2 cups cooked jasmine coconut rice (easy recipe at She Simmers)
1 ¼ cup cooked cannellini beans (or any other bean you’d prefer: lentils, chickpeas, edamame, etc.)
1 lb. asparagus
½ cup roughly chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley


4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
½ cup raw walnut pieces
¼ cup raw almonds
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about one lemon)
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

1. In a food processor or blender (preferably a VitaMix), add all pistou ingredients and pulse a few times until everything is coarsely combined. Don’t over do it or else you’ll be left with a thick paste rather than a chunky pistou.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut the asparagus spears on a diagonal, about one inch pieces. Add them to the boiling water for about 1.5 minutes. Prepare another bowl of ice water. Remove and add the asparagus to the ice water bath to set their color. After a few minutes, drain completely.
3. Prepare the coconut rice and cannellini beans according to instructions. If using canned cannellini beans, be sure to rinse with cold water. While rice is warm, mix them together in a large bowl. Add the asparagus and a few big dollops of the pistou (amount based on personal preference), and fold gently to coat everything in the sauce. Garnish with fresh flat leaf parsley and mint.