Thai

Fell Asleep in the Casserole? Green Curry Porridge is Your Wake-Up Call

November 17, 2016

Summer turned fall turned winter, and Food52 turned Casserole City.

It was like our whole website woke up to a deep snow (and a new president). Except instead of white powder, there were pies, green beans, stuffings. Turkey, a meat we ignored most of the year, suddenly became the only protein source in existence.

So what to eat when you're not thinking about or seated at the Thanksgiving table? When the sight of another 9-by-13 makes you woozy? (Or what about if you're not celebrating or interested in Thanksgiving at all?) Start with a big pot of green curry porridge.

It has the flavors of a brightly herby, Thai-inspired coconut milk curry, except instead of adding tofu, chicken, or shrimp and serving it over rice noodles or white rice, the coconut milk is blended with all sorts of spicy, invigorating ingredients (ginger, fresh chile, cilantro, scallions, spinach, lime juice, and curry leaves), then added straight into a pot of brown rice and farro. For flavor that hits every level of the dish, those grains have themselves been toasted with lemongrass, garlic, coriander, and more ginger and curry leaves.

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The recipe is adapted just slightly from the inimitable Heidi Swanson, who writes and cooks at 101 Cookbooks and is the author, most recently, of Near & Far. It's comforting but not a bedtime lullaby; it's rich but not macaroni and cheese; it's vegan; it comes together in less than an hour and in just one pot (and one blender); it's just as good cold from the fridge; it has very little to do with Thanksgiving.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

The original recipe uses only brown rice and skips the fresh curry leaves (with which I am particularly obsessed). Heidi also recommends you use sorrel, with its citrusy tang, in place of the spinach and lime juice when you can find it, and suggests swapping out the delicata for other winter squash (though you'll need to peel thicker-skinned acorn, kabocha, or butternut).

You could also try adding mint to the coconut milk mixture, or fold in more spinach or finely chopped chard to wilt it in at the last minute. Top it with braised tempeh or poached chicken or an egg fried in panko crumbs for a complete meal-in-a-bowl.

Or double the recipe and serve it on... well... Thanksgiving? I wouldn't stop you.

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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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