Warm Wild Rice Salad

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I had quite a whirlwind weekend.  I was up at 6 am for marathon training on Saturday, met my mother at an Alzheimer's convention near the airport, and then drove with her to attend the Visakha day festival in Woodstock. Sunday morning I had an appointment with my dentist, followed by brunch with my father's side of the family, followed by a short visit with my maternal grandmother, a long drive back to Chicago, and a short run with a friend. 

The point of the entire visit was to retrieve my parent's van in order to retrieve Nick from school later this week.  It will be nice to have him back and a relief to never take the Chicago to Champaign leg of the Amtrak line ever again.  I'm looking forward to slower weekends, evening walks, and dinner parties.

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I've recently found that when I'm feeling rundown and overwhelmed, a warm bowl of wild rice, bright vegetables and pillows of goat cheese can make for a soothing evening.  Here is simple recipe that yields impressive results.

Warm Wild Rice Salad
Serves 2 - 3

Ingredients

1 C wild rice (I use Lundberg rice)
Water
Vegetable bullion
.5 C slivered almonds
1 Tbl olive oil
10 cherry tomatoes
15 stalks of asparagus
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbl chopped basil from a jar (or 2 Tbl fresh)
2 oz goat cheese
salt and pepper

Method

Cook the rice according to package instructions.  (Add the amount of water called for and enough bouillon for the water volume.)  It will take about 50 minutes for the rice to cook.

Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes in half.  Trim the asparagus and cut into one inch pieces.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Using a garlic press, press the garlic directly into the pan (if you do not have a garlic press, mincing the garlic works fine).  Add the vegetables and toss frequently.  Season with salt and pepper.  Near the end of cooking (when the asparagus is bright and tender, and the tomato skins are blistering), add the basil and toss to coat.

When the wild rice is done, combine the rice and the vegetables in a large serving bowl, add small pieces of goat cheese, the slivered almonds, and toss. Season to taste.

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