Lemon Rice with Asparagus, Pine Nuts

Here is an amazing delicious rice dish that can be a main meal with a side salad or veggies, or could proudly be served on a holiday table. since it’s colorful with that green and red thing going for it. This recipe also gave me an easier way of cooking rice. In fact, it was so easy that I probably will stop measuring one cup of rice to two cups water, the way we learned how to do it since, well, forever!

The six tablespoons of lemon juice on the rice had me skeptical at first but it tastes amazing.

This recipe is a variation on “Lemon Pine Nut Rice” from Donna Klein’s “Vegan Italiano,” my favorite cookbook.

Lemon Rice with Asparagus & Pine Nuts
Serves 2-3


1 1/2 cups white medium-grain rice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 bell pepper, red green or yellow, finely minced
1/2 onion, minced
2 large or 4 small cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus
2 large lemons, juiced to make 6 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of water to boil (about 3 quarts of water)

Wash and trim the asparagus by holding each stalk near the tough end, snapping it gently. The woody part will break off exactly in the right place so you don’t have to guess at it. Slice each stalk on the diagonal to about 1.5 inches in length for each piece.

Mince the bell pepper, onion, and garlic and set aside together. Mince the parsley and set aside separately.

When water is boiling, drop in asparagus and cook for about 2-3 minutes until pieces are bright green and crisp-tender. Keep testing them by fishing out a piece and dropping it into a bowl of cold water. When they’re just right, remove them quickly with a slotted spoon to the bowl of cold water. Drain and set aside.

Bring water back to a boil and drop in the one and a half cups of rice. Stir occasionally and allow the rice to cook about 12 to 15 minutes. Test a few grains at about 12 minutes. When the rice is tender but still al dente, drain the entire pot into a colander and allow rice to cool.

In a large skillet, toast the pine nuts until they start to color, set aside.

In the now-empty skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the peppers, onions and garlic until softened, about five minutes. Add the rice and mix well to combine. Remove the mixture to a serving bowl and add the lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Give the rice mixture another good stir to mix everything well and serve.

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