The star of the Easter meal must be lamb in some form, either petite Frenched chops marinated in herbs and lemon and quickly seared or maybe a Greek-style lamb burger with feta, tomato and tzaziki or a good ol’ boneless leg of lamb slathered with umami marinade and cooked to perfection. All of that sounds good to me! However, it is this side dish of rice salad that will really make me swoon when I add spring vegetables to it.
6 spring onions, bulbs cut into cross sections, green parts thinly sliced on the bias and reserved
1 cup fresh asparagus tips
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 cups jasmine rice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Fill a bowl halfway with cold water and add some ice cubes to make an ice bath. Bring a small pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add onion bulbs and asparagus and cook for 30 seconds before adding peas and cook until just tender, 30 seconds more. Transfer all to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain.
Combine the rice, butter, 6 cups cold water and 2 teaspoons salt in a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the vegetables, reserved green onion tops, lemon zest and juice, mint and olive oil. Gently fold to combine. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.