Arroz Verde (aka Green Rice)
Being gluten-free I eat massive quantities of rice . . . long grain brown rice mostly, but also basmati rice, Thai sweet rice, Arborio rice, short grain brown rice, and even plain old long grain white rice. Needless to say, I keep my eye out for ways to make rice more interesting. Here’s one I really enjoy. (When I’ve posted about it on Facebook people asked for the recipe . . . so here’s what I actually did.)
- 2-3 oz. (1-1/2 – 2 cups) bulk spinach, divided (see below)
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 Serrano pepper, stem removed (Serranos are the little thin green ones usually sold near the jalapeños; if you can’t find one, use 1/2 a jalapeño, seeded and stem removed; I don’t bother removing the seeds from the Serrano)
- approximately 2 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water, divided (see below)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, diced or minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 cup long grain or basmati rice, rinsed
- Salt to taste (I use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon)
- Wash and thinly slice 1-1/2 to 2 cups of the spinach. Set aside approximately 1/2 cup to be mixed into the rice AFTER it cooks. Combine the rest of the sliced spinach (1 to 1-1/2 cups) with the cilantro, the Serrano pepper, and 1/2 cup of the broth or water in a food processor, blender, or mini-chopper. Blend until smooth (or well-minced, depending on how you like it). Pour into a liquid measuring cup (or use the markings on the blender) and add broth/water to make 2-1/4 cups total liquid. Set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan with a well-fitting lid. Add the onions and sauté until transparent (approx. 5 minutes). Add the garlic and the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes, until the rice is lightly golden.
- Add the broth/vegetable mixture (spinach/cilantro/pepper) and salt. Stir to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and replace the lid until you are ready to serve. (This rice is easy to burn to the bottom of the pan, so check it at 20 minutes to see how it is cooking. If it is getting stuck, just turn off the heat and put the lid back on. It will continue to cook.
- Just before serving, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sliced spinach.
NOTE: Updated on May 6, 2015 to correct inconsistencies and modify Preparation instructions. After a few times I found a better way. The old way worked (if you have that version), but this worked better.
©2014 Lucinda DeWitt