Green green rice salad ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

16 April 2009

Green green rice salad

So after the whole egg salad business we were left with half a gigantic bunch of dill. Herbs! Hooray! Of course, then we had to find something to use them in besides more eggs, which are the classic herb vehicle. So I made a big whack of rice with lots of concentrated green added. This turned into kind of a fancy grain salad, as opposed to just "rice with some stuff stirred into it." I guess those are actually the same thing though.

I'm actually kind of shocked that I didn't plunder any of the sorrel plant for this business, but it's still pretty small, so I controlled myself. But it's spring! Greens! I used the entire bunch of spinach, that's for sure.

Supergreen rice salad

short grain brown rice/other grain you like for salad
olive oil/butter
yellow onion
thyme, sage, red pepper flakes
green onion
spinach/other greens
salt, pepper
fresh dill or other reasonable herbs
grating cheese if you want it, toasty pinenuts (or nothing) otherwise

First make rice. Throw a cup of rice (or however much you want) into your rice cooker, add two cups of water, and turn it on. I like short grain rice for salady business like this, but pretty much any grain you want to use should work. Wheat berries, barley, spelt, quinoa: whatever. Let your grain cook while you make all the greens.

Warm some olive oil, butter, or a combination in a reasonable saute pan while you peel and chop a medium onion or two small ones. Throw them into the pan, keeping heat low so they'll melt, while you smash, peel, and mince a clove or two of garlic. For once I actually kept it to one clove! Shocking! Subs could include red onion, shallots, maybe green garlic if you happen to have a stupendous farmer's market haul lying around. Soften everything together slowly, seasoning with a little bit of thyme, sage, and red pepper flakes.

For greens, dump your entire bunch of spinach into the sink and fill it with cool water. Swish the bunch around to wash off all the crud. Pull all the leaves off their stems and set them aside undried. The stems can go in the stockpile in the freezer, for exciting broth later. Other greens would work fine here; just make sure to let them cook long enough if you're using anything much sturdier.

Chop up a couple green onions and the pile of wet spinach. When your rice is done, throw them into the pan of onion, stir, and cook for another three or four minutes, until the spinach is all wilted. Salt and pepper, taste for seasonings, and your greens are done.

Fluff your pan of rice, then dump it directly into the greens. Add a little olive oil or butter too, if you feel the need. Mix it all together, letting any butter pieces melt and coat the rice. In the meantime, prep garnish: strip a couple stems of dill of their leaves, then chop them roughly. If you don't have any dill, or want to use other fresh herbs, that works too.

Eat out of big bowls with more pepper, lots of dill, and shreds of decent grating cheese or toasty nuts of your choice.

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