amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Roasted asparagus with black rice, avocado and radish sprouts

POSTED ON May 4, 2012

today’s lunch

I was planning to create a new asparagus recipe to celebrate the first organic asparagus to arrive at the green market today. But when I pulled this lovely purple bunch from the fridge, I decided to share the way I eat it most often, roasted. I know roasting asparagus is not new to many of you, but for those who have never tried it, it’s a nice change from blanched, streamed or sautéed. I like to serve it with lemon wedges on the side so people can choose to squeeze the juice fresh over their portion or simply leave it plain.

As I was looking for things to go with the purple asparagus, I realized I had more lovely purple ingredients on hand: leftover forbidden black rice, purple scallions and two types of radish sprouts, which make anything look pretty. So this is what I made. Of course, I sprinkled it with black sesame seeds, scallions, avocado and a flax tamari dressing, recipe below.

shades of purple

Just in case you didn’t see this post, black rice has all the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of dark berries and all the health promoting properties of brown rice!

ready for the oven

forbidden black rice

dressing with lime


lunch, the casual version

Roasted asparagus

I often double this recipe; if you do roast extra, make sure the asparagus is in a single layer, so they cook evenly. You may need more or less cooking time depending on the thickness of your asparagus. Mine was a mixed bunch and I enjoyed the difference in textures from roasting them all together.

1 pound asparagus

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ a lemon or lime, optional

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

Wash asparagus very well. (I do this the same way I wash greens, the  instructions are  in my March newsletter). Cut two inches off the bottom or break off the ends at their natural breaking point.

Place asparagus on baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle over a pinch of sea salt and fresh black pepper. Toss well and spread evenly over tray, in a single layer. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove and serve, with a squeeze of lemon or lime if you like.

Serves 2 to 4 people.

Forbidden black rice

I like my rice very soft and sticky, but if you prefer a nuttier texture, reduce the cooking water to 2 ½ cups.

1 ¼ cups forbidden black rice, soaked overnight in 2 cups of filtered water

3 cups filtered water

½ teaspoon sea salt

Drain and rinse rice. Place in a heavy 2 to 4 quart pot and add filtered water and sea salt. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to low and cook for 1 hour. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves about 6

Tamari flax dressing

Sometimes I add the juice of half a lime to this, which is delicious over the avocado.

1 tablespoon flax oil

1 ½  teaspoon tamari

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.

This tastes great over any plain cooked grain, steamed vegetable or (if you add lime) as a simple salad dressing.

Serves 2.

To assemble; place about ¾ cup of black rice in a bowl. Top with ¼ of an avocado, diced. Drizzle with half the flax tamari dressing, sprinkle with toasted black sesame seeds, sliced scallions and radish sprouts. Serve the roasted asparagus on the side. Enjoy lunch!

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  • Sasha says:

    Roasting asparagus is by far my favourite way to cook it. I love your purple inspiration and I will certainly be making this for lunch this week!

  • Cheyenne Holman says:

    Hi. This looks gorgeous and I’m sure it would taste even better! I’m just curious though about the amount of protein in a meal such as this. I’m highly active and tend to follow a high protein diet, and this meal would not have that much protein, am I right? I very easily could add an egg, or tempeh or something of course but I was just curious whether this would be necessary for a high protein meal? Thanks, Cheyenne 🙂

  • rosa says:

    This was absolutely lovely! The first time I roasted asparagus, and I know I will be doing it again.

  • Lauren says:

    This is just absolutely ridiculously delicious! I really can’t get enough of this forbidden rice with the tamari flax dressing! Everytime I make it I can’t stop saying “mmmmm” after every bite!

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