Green rice two ways
Question: what do you do with leftover spinach? You know when you’ve forgotten about a bag of spinach and it ends up mushed in the back of the fridge until you discover it there. It’s a not so fresh that you want to make a salad out of it, but you don’t want to throw it away. Around our house, I often saute “leftover” spinach and put it in baked ziti, pasta, or even smoothies.
Flipping through the July/August issue of Cuisine at Home, I found another idea–green rice. The simple recipe uses a puree of spinach and cilantro to serve with BBQ shrimp (I wasn’t impressed with the overly sweet “creole” shrimp recipe). The flavor-infused rice is a great way to perk up a normally ho-hum side dish. Here are my two versions:
Green rice with spinach & cilantro
*Works well with spicy Mexican or American dishes
Prep time: 30 minutes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup Basmati or Jasmine rice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup chicken broth, divided
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 serrano chile (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven to medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft.
- Rinse the rice in cold water, then add it to the pan; cook for about one minute.
- Stir 1 cup broth and the milk into the rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minute until tender.
- Meanwhile, puree the spinach, cilantro, juice from the lime, pepper (if using) and 1/2 cup chicken broth in a blender. Stir the spinach mixture into the rice and heat through (about 3 minutes).
Green rice with spinach & basil
*Works well with Italian or French dishes
Substitute 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves for the cilantro, a lemon for the lime, and add a dash of cayenne pepper in place of the serrano.
My youngest shied away from trying the rice at first saying, “What’s the green stuff, mom?” But after watching her older sisters finish off their plates she downed hers too. I served the rice with a wedge of lime for squeezing. I’ll definitely make this again.