Green Curry Porridge à la Heidi Swanson

November 11, 2016
5 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

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.

The original recipe uses only brown rice (which makes it gluten-free!) 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).

For instructions on how to prep lemongrass, look here. —Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
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Green Curry Porridge à la Heidi Swanson
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, minced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 10 or so curry leaves, divided (optional but worthwhile)
  • 3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons fine grain sea salt, divided
  • one 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 small serrano or other hot chile, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro (stems are fine), plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion tops, bottoms reserved for serving
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus wedges for serving
  • 1 or 2 small delicata squash, cut lengthwise then cut into 1/2- to 1/4-inch half-moons
  1. Heat the olive oil in a big pot over medium heat. Add lemongrass, garlic, 2 teaspoons of ginger, coriander, and 5 of the curry leaves and cook for a few seconds, just until fragrant. Add the rice and farro and stir constantly until the grains are toasted and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Stream in the water slowly, while stirring, and don't be alarmed when the heat causes the water to bubble. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the salt and let the soup simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until the rice has cooked through and many of its grains are bursting.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the coconut milk, remaining 1 tablespoon ginger, remaining 5 curry leaves, chile, cilantro, scallion tops, spinach, lime juice, and remaining salt. Blend until smooth, then taste and adjust as needed (add more salt, more lime juice, or more spinach).
  3. When the porridge has been cooking for about 25 minutes, add the herbed coconut milk and the squash. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the squash is tender. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Ladle the porridge into bowls and top each with reserved chopped scallion bottoms, a small pile of chopped cilantro, a drizzle of olive oil, and a wedge of lime.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • So sett
    So sett
  • AntoniaJames
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
  • catydid

7 Reviews

catydid February 5, 2022
This is delicious - have made several times, to great results! Some changes: put squash in earlier, when brown rice is partly cooked, as the squash takes forever to cook. Used quick farro, so added it later than the brown rice & squash. Put a hot pepper in with the rice and in the green sauce. Used at least 2x curry leaves and juice of 4 small limes. Used 3x fresh ginger. Used 6 oz fresh spinach. Skipped cilantro, but if you like it keep it in! Saved squash seeds and roasted in oven w oil and salt, sprinkle on top! Served with a dash of plain yogurt. Yum!
So S. February 15, 2019
So it's definitely,,,, salty,,,,,,,,,,,
So S. February 16, 2019
Update: added another 14oz can of coconut milk, 1c spinach, etc. and it was perfect
alethea V. February 15, 2017
I loved the description and story behind this dish and loved the ingredients, and was inspired to take the time to procure all the items on the list and prepare it -- but even though the amount of salt struck me as way too much and I cut down considerably, my dish was totally ruined by saltiness. All of those lovely fresh ingredients, all rendered inert by the salt! I'd like to think I will try it again adjusting even more for the salt, but I don't even know now whether my taste buds are just ruined for this dish.
Sarah J. February 15, 2017
I'm so sorry about that alethea! It's the same amount of salt called for in the original recipe, too. Maybe you could add some more coconut milk to cut the saltiness?
AntoniaJames February 2, 2017
How many stalks of lemongrass do you need to get 2 tablespoons, minced? Thanks so much. ;o)
Sarah J. February 2, 2017
About 2 stalks!