Make Ahead

Herby Green Rice With Peas & Beans

July  3, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This recipe is a child of two greats—Pierre Franey's baked rice, which Merrill wrote about in A New Way to Dinner, and Martha Rose Shulman's green rice—which means it's got a good gene pool, and plenty of smart tricks coming out its metaphorical ears:

First, instead of boiling the rice on the stove, you add the liquid, cover the pot, and then send it into a 400° F oven for precisely 17 minutes. And, that liquid is not simply water, but a blend of water (or vegetable broth) with spinach and cilantro.

To take it from side dish to self-contained meal, pour in a can of drained white beans and a handful of frozen peas before the rice goes into the oven—both will absorb the flavorful cooking liquid. To the fluffed rice, wilt in some more spinach along with lemon zest, chopped mint, and goat cheese. You'll get a creamy, tangy mess of greens-entangled rice. —Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 2 cups (100 grams) tightly packed spinach, divided
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion (90 to 100 grams; heaping 1/2 cup), minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup jasmine or other long-grain rice, rinsed thoroughly until the water runs clear
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • one 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup (5 grams) roughly chopped mint
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1/3 cup (50 to 60 grams) crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 poached eggs, for serving (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 400° F.
  2. In a blender, combine the broth, 1 cup of tightly-packed spinach, and the cilantro. Blend until mostly smooth.
  3. In a large, ovenproof pot (like a Dutch oven), melt the butter. Add the minced onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and salt and stir to coat the grains in butter. Pour in the green broth and add the beans and peas. Cover the pot and bake for exactly 17 minutes. If the liquid is not fully absorbed, send the pot back into the oven for 10 or 15 additional minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven and use a fork to fluff it. Add the mint, lemon zest, goat cheese, and remaining 1 cup tightly-packed spinach. Taste for salt.
  6. Top with a poached egg, if you'd like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alek Meyer
    Alek Meyer
  • Eva
  • Mulzee
  • Adrienne
  • BerryBaby

35 Reviews

Margaret July 3, 2021
This recipe was excellent, though I had to make a couple of substitutions - chickpeas for the white beans, and feta for the goat cheese. I can imagine other combinations; it's really the green sauce that makes it better than many similar recipes. The baking directions were so odd. "Precisely" (!) 17 minutes, and then maybe 10 or 15 more? It took about 25 minutes in my enameled cast iron Dutch oven. I think most people can understand a dish like this might require a range of times; I don't understand the reason for the use of the word "precise" here.
Babe June 25, 2021
With all of the rice issues plus high starch factor, I’m wondering if I could use quinoa instead of rice??
Alek M. August 10, 2019
First of all, I love this recipe and make it often -- however, it always takes 45+ minutes to cook. I'm using a Dutch oven and I have an oven thermometer to confirm the temperature is right. What could possibly be causing it to take over double the expected cooking time? I'd love to figure out why so this could be a quicker weeknight meal for me.
hj April 4, 2018
Hi Sarah, thanks for this promising recipe! Just one tiny question. In de list is it says: crumbled goat cheese Do you mean a chèvre like cheese or more feta like, or should both work?
Sarah J. April 4, 2018
I used a drier, more feta-like goat cheese, but a creamy one will work, too!
Eva March 30, 2018
I’m seeing a lot of variation in the cooking times and wanted to propose a theory: the color and material of the pans cooks are using.

TL;DR: use a heavier pot (like one made of cast iron) to hit the timing mark on this recipe.

In baking, the color of your sheet pan/cake tin can make an enormous difference to the outcome of your cakes and cookies. This is because different colors and materials absorb or reflect heat differently. The original recipe here calls for a Dutch oven. Usually made of heavy cast iron, these absorb and hold onto heat very well, radiating heat into the food inside consistently.

If you’re using a lighter, thinner saucepan (as many report doing), your pan is simply going to react differently to the heat of a 400F oven. Lighter-colored pans will reflect some of the heat of the oven, rather than absorbing it and radiating it into the food inside. These will, naturally, take longer (perhaps a LOT longer) to achieve the same amount of cooking inside.

Ovens are indirect heat sources, which will only exacerbate the pot material difference. Gas ovens, especially, cycle on and off to raise and lower the temp around your target (400F). Cast iron is great in this situation because it will maintain a pretty steady temp the whole time, having absorbed a lot of heat. A lighter and/or thinner material won’t hold onto as much of the heat, so it’ll fluctuate more with the oven’s fluctuation.

See here for more:
Connie July 4, 2017
I made this for dinner, and it is great! I added another 3 minutes after the 17, in our rental kitchen. I used more lemon zest as there isn't a zester here, and we topped with poached eggs. I will definitely make this again!!
Mulzee July 1, 2017
Made this tonight and it was great. I didn't have goat cheese or cilantro on hand but used feta and parsley instead. Still delicious ! Thanks for sharing!
Samantha June 8, 2017
I made this last night, and it cooked in the 17 minutes (which was a relief, after reading the comments). I have to say I wasn't really into the flavors, but I loved the technique and can't wait to try it using black beans or kidney, carrots, and maybe some poblanos with chiptole (I'm a fan of Mexican food!). Thanks for the recipe!
Adrienne June 5, 2017
What a wonderful recipe! I needed the extra 15 min for the rice and substituted fava greens for the spinach. A great way to use my farmers market finds!
Sarah J. June 5, 2017
Glad you liked it! And I've never had fava greens before—I want to try those!
Adrienne June 8, 2017
They are divine! Subtle and herbaceous with the most sensuous smell of spring. I know you can get them at the Union Square Green Market as of last weekend :)
Rachel May 20, 2017
I made a double batch tonight for dinner and it was wonderful! Too hot outside to turn on the oven, so I cooked it in the rice cooker on the white rice setting after sauteing the onions/garlic/rice and stirring in the blended broth/greens. The rice was perfectly cooked, and we ate it all. I'll be making this again soon!
Sarah J. May 21, 2017
Glad to hear it!
BerryBaby May 19, 2017
Not sure what to tell you. I know for certain my recipe for Spring Rice with Peas and Lemon made on the stove with Jasmine rice works every-time. Been making this for a LONG time and never fails. Good luck! BB
KC May 20, 2017
Do you cook the rice in the hot oil first (brown it)? This recipe says "coat it" but without cracking it in hot oil it's not cooking in this thick liquid.
KC May 20, 2017
Gonna look up your version and try it next. Thanks for the encouragement. This is really the first time Food52 just dropped this ball. ( but don't get me started on the similarly awful "one pan pasta" attributed to saint Martha Stewart.
KC May 19, 2017
I just saw the timing comments. I'm 26 minutes in and it's all watery. This is weird. Not using a Dutch oven, just a big sauce pan. And white basmati. Which on the stove cooks in 18-22 min. At 30+ minutes rice is still raw. WTF? This is quite annoying. I don't actually know what to do. Certainly I'm now expecting mushy peas and beans. Maybe test this using regular stuff (like sauce pans) because not everyone has a medium or smallish dutch oven?
KC May 19, 2017
Seriously. We are at 1+ hours. Rice not cooking. At all. Still hard. Oven is 400. Everything else is mush. What.the.hell.
KC May 19, 2017
Rolling up on an hour 20. Smells great. Rice still uncooked. I cook. And I'm just stumped.
KC May 19, 2017
Gluey, gloppy. Impossible to "fluff" in any way. Tasty. But FAIL. C'mon. Why?!?
KC May 20, 2017
This was GROSS. What an impressively terrible recipe. When you have several people telling you that it's not working why are you not CHANGING IT OR ADDING NOTES rather than promoting it on FB? This is the first time you have seriously failed me, and it's concerning. Are you pros or what? Is this just a hobby blog?
KC May 20, 2017
All in all the "exactly 17 minutes" in the oven "or add an extra 10 or 15 minutes" shoulda been a tip off that the cooking directions were bunk. Cause that ain't anybody's "exactly." This recipe is crap.
Sarah J. May 21, 2017
I'm so sorry that you had such a bad experience with this recipe, KC. I'm not sure what went on, but I'm happy to troubleshoot with you. It's based on this recipe from Pierre Franey——and I've made it successfully several times. It took exactly 17 minutes in the oven at my apartment, and about 7 minutes longer in our test kitchen oven.
BerryBaby May 17, 2017
What happened to my response? I compared my Spring Rice with Peas (entered in latest contest) as they are similar. Both are very good!
Sarah J. May 21, 2017
Can't figure out what happened—mine got deleted, too! But I'm excited to try your dish!
LP May 11, 2017
I just made this with brown rice. The flavors were excellent, but the oven method was very slow. It took 1 hr 20 min and I had to add ~3/4 c. extra water partway through. Next time, I think I'll cook the rice/green broth in my rice cooker, saute the onion/garlic/spinach/peas/beans in a pan on the stove, and combine it all at the end with the goat cheese/mint/zest. I'm hoping that will cut down on cooking time. I could also see these flavors working well in a risotto or with farro or barley.
Walter B. May 8, 2017
Beans and rice, this is a perfect combination. They will make a nutritious dish. Thanks for recommending and sharing the recipe.
sodehpop May 7, 2017
This was bright and lovely with great potential for mixing it up in the future. The cooking time was off for me too--at 17 minutes the liquid was barely absorbed. I added an additional 15 minutes.
Sarah J. May 7, 2017
Hmm—so weird! Must be different ovens and different pans! I'm glad it worked out anyway!! And I'll update the recipe to account for extra cooking time.
Annabelle May 7, 2017
This was delicious, though I needed to leave it another ten minutes before the rice was cooked. I skipped the lemon and mint and used sorrel in place of spinach, and queso fresco for the goat cheese. This is definitely a technique I'll use again with other greens and herbs.
Sarah J. May 9, 2017
Good to know about the cooking time (thank you!) and keep us up to speed with your variations!
Pam W. May 7, 2017
Thank you! I can't wait to try this! Beans and rice are my staples. It looks delish!
Liz May 7, 2017
Could you make this with brown rice? Thanks.
Sarah J. May 7, 2017
Yes, but it will take longer! I recommend you follow these directions——but replace the water with the water-spinach-herb mixture. And you'll probably want to add the peas and beans about 20 minutes before the rice will be ready—otherwise, I worry they'll be too mushy.