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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Italian Rice Pilaf

This dish is so easy and uses things you often have on hand in the pantry. Nevertheless, it still looks and tastes great and tends to wow people. I love it as a side for fish, because of the lemon, but it would be great with chicken or sausage too. Or, you could add beans or tofu and make it a vegetarian main course. I served it with rainbow trout with my balsamic dijon glaze last night and even the girls were willing to eat some (even though there were vegetables in it!).

1.5 cups long grain brown rice or brown rice/wild rice blend
3 cups water
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 300g box frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)

Optional add-ins: marinated artichokes, sundried tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, olives, fresh parsely, etc.

Place rice and water in large covered pot over high heat until water starts to boil. Turn heat to low and simmer until all the water is absorbed. In large skilled or frying pan, dump tomatoes and juice, garlic and basil. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then turn heat down to medium and simmer until liquid has reduced. Stir in spinach, lemon juice and zest. Add cooked rice to tomato mixture and stir until rice has absorbed all the liquid. Enjoy!

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