Wild Rice Asparagus Salad with Walnut Lemon Dressing

A main-dish salad is a perfect destination for grains. Tossed with a vinaigrette, a selection of vegetables and herbs, perhaps some walnuts to add crunch and flavor, and you've got all you need for the center of your plate. I love the contrast of textures and colors in this salad. The wild rice is earthy, the brown rice nutty, and both are chewy in different ways. Walnuts and walnut oil not only add perfect complementary flavor and crunch, but also contribute omega-3 fatty acids to the mix. You can make this up to a day ahead, but don't add the asparagus, parsley, and herbs until shortly before serving, because their colors will fade. I usually cook a few servings of wild or brown rice each week and toss cooked leftovers in soups and salads to save time in the kitchen.