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
- Prep time 5 minutes
- Cook time 25 minutes
- Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 cups
vegetable broth (or water)
(100 grams) tightly packed spinach, divided
tightly packed cilantro leaves
small onion (90 to 100 grams; heaping 1/2 cup), minced
garlic cloves, minced
jasmine or other long-grain rice, rinsed thoroughly until the water runs clear
salt, plus more to taste
15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
(5 grams) roughly chopped mint
(50 to 60 grams) crumbled goat cheese
poached eggs, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oven to 400° F.
- In a blender, combine the broth, 1 cup of tightly-packed spinach, and the cilantro. Blend until mostly smooth.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Top with a poached egg, if you'd like.