Wild Rice with Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms

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You can serve this wild rice dish as a side dish or a main course, your choice! This actually started as a one dish dinner for my wife and I (with the addition of some cooked, cubed chicken) but has since then turned into a fairly elegant side dish that begs for experimentation.

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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, divided*
  • 1 3-6-oz. pkg. fresh Shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and julienned
  • 2 C. asparagus, rinsed, dried, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 C. red or yellow pepper, cleaned, deseeded, and julienned
  • 1 C. cooked wild rice (quick cooking type is fine), well drained
  • 1/3 C. chopped red onion, medium dice
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 C. chopped, toasted pine nuts (optional but really good!)

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Directions

Note: This dish comes together quickly so have everything ready…mise en place.

Heat 2 Tbs. of olive oil in a 10-12 inch sauté pan (or other heavy bottomed fry pan) on medium-high to high heat until oil shimmers. Add mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms give up their liquid and begin to color. Add asparagus and continue to sauté until they brighten (they will still have some ‘crunch' at this stage). Add peppers and sauté 1-2 minutes more. Add another tablespoon of oil*, stir quickly to coat and then add the rice. Sauté until the rice is heated through (1-2 minutes), add onions and lemon juice, mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add garnish if desired, and serve.

*If you're using a non-stick pan, you can eliminate the third tbs. of oil.

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