Wild rice and asparagus salad
First, rinse the rice under cold running water. Next, place a saucepan of water on a high heat, add half a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and add the rinsed rice, wild or brown, whichever you are using. Cook for about 25-30 minutes until tender but still nutty and a little chewy. As the rice cooks, toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium to high heat for about 4-5 minutes, tossing regularly until golden under the skins. To remove the skins, wrap the nuts in a clean tea towel while they are still warm and rub together. The skins should come off easily. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and set aside.
In a bowl, make the dressing by mixing together all but 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the sherry vinegar and seasoning with salt and pepper. When the rice is cooked, drain immediately and toss with half of the dressing, then place on one serving plate.
Next, place a griddle pan or frying pan on a high heat and allow to get very hot. In a bowl, toss together the asparagus stalks with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the griddle pan in a single layer and cook for a few minutes on each side until deep golden in patches and just tender.
Arrange the spears on top of the rice and drizzle over the rest of the dressing, then scatter with the toasted hazelnuts. Finally use a vegetable peeler to make shavings of the Coolea or Parmesan cheese, whichever you are using over the top of the salad. Serve immediately.