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Asparagus and Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Venus Black Rice Hazelnuts and Wensleydale

Prep 10 minutesCooking 45 minutes4 people

A beautiful summery recipe using charred green vegetables, earthy black rice and sweet and nutty hazelnuts. Perfect for a satisfying mid-week meal or an alfresco dinner.


45 minutes

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250g Venus Black Rice

625ml water

Salt and pepper

50g hazelnuts, skinless

400g asparagus

200g purple sprouting broccoli

2 spring onions

6 tbsp basil vinegar

1 tsp sugar

2 ½ tbsp Verdemanda Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed/finely chopped

75g rocket/watercress

100g Wensleydale cheese


  1. Heat your oven to 175C fan / 195C non-fan. Combine the rice and water in a pan with a good pinch of salt, bring up to a boil, turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain, keep the excess liquid and return the rice to the pan.
  2. Place the hazelnuts on a tray and roast for 8 minutes, until golden brown. When cool, roughly chop.
  3. Place a large pan of seasoned water on high heat to bring it up to a boil. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus. Peel the outer layer of the broccoli stalk. Once the water is boiling, blanch the asparagus for 1 minute then refresh in cold water. Repeat with the broccoli, then leave both on a kitchen cloth to absorb any water.
  4. Peel and thinly slice the spring onions. Mix 3 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp sugar and a pinch of salt then pour over the spring onions and leave to lightly pickle.
  5. Make the salad dressing by combining 3 tbsp vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil and the remainder of the rice liquid. Taste and add a pinch of salt.  
  6. When ready to serve, toss the asparagus and broccoli with 1/2tbsp olive oil. Heat a frying or griddle pan till hot then grill in batches in a dry pan till coloured on the outside. Just before they come out of the pan, add the chopped garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then take out.
  7. Warm the rice with a little of the dressing, then divide between plates.  Toss the veg with remaining dressing, check for seasoning and place on top of rice, with a handful of salad leaves. Finish with toasted hazelnuts, spring onions and crumbled Wensleydale.

Included in this Recipe

Verdemanda Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Verdemanda Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Arbequina olives of the highest quality are stone ground creating a vivid emerald green oil with a fresh and vibrant grassy flavour.