1/2 cup wild rice
15 asparagus spears, tough ends removed, cut into 3/4 inch pieces and slightly blanched
1/2 cup minced fennel bulb
1/2 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon minced fennel frond
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/4 cup Myer lemon juice
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons raw agave nectar
2 teaspoons white miso
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste
For the salad:
Combined the ½ cup wild rice with 1 ½ cups water, and a pinch of salt in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Pour the rice out onto a plate to cool. When cool, combine the cooked wild rice with the blanched asparagus spears, minced fennel, and chopped hazelnuts. Season with a little salt and pepper, set aside.
For the dressing:
Place the minced shallots, meyer lemon juice, vinegar, agave nectar, and white miso in a medium sized glass jar fitted with a lid. Shake the jar to mix the ingredients, and to incorporate the miso. Remove the lid and add in the olive oil. Shake vigorously again. Alternately, whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Slowly add the olive oil in a thin, study stream, to evenly incorporate.
Assemble the salad:
Pour about 4 tablespoons of the dressing over the rice mixture to moisten. Mix well and taste for seasoning. Let the salad stand a few minutes to absorb the dressing and taste again. If it is to dry and bland, add about 2 more tablespoons and repeat the same procedure, allowing the rice to absorb the dressing. This recipe usually takes about 6 tablespoons of dressing, but it a good idea to add slow. You can always add more, but never take away. Add the herbs right before serving to preserve their bright flavors.
Recipe submitted by Correne Quigley-Faysal, copyright 2007. See more at http://www.seasonalcuisine.blogspot.com .