|Creamy, Cheesy, and Garlicky Rice with Spinach|
|10 ounces of fresh spinach|
|10 ounces fresh spinach after steaming|
|10 ounces fresh spinach after squeezing water out|
The recipe is surprisingly easy and quick. I expected to spend at least an hour on the recipe but was done in less than thirty minutes (ten minutes of prep work and about eighteen minutes of cooking time). I chose to combine two of the suggested cheeses, the Emmethal and Gruyere, which added a bit more depth and complexity to the flavors. The creaminess of the cheeses, whipping cream and butter nicely melded with the rice and spinach. There was a lovely aroma in the kitchen -- not quite the measure of last week's corn soup, but enticing nonetheless. This dish would work well for a dinner party as it is not labor intensive, can be kept warm without compromising the result, and served when needed. Also, it can be enhanced with a drizzle of truffle oil, the addition of some foraged mushrooms (or what you can find in the market) or maybe even a splash of wine to finish before serving.
|Onions & Garlic - ready to go!|
|Chicken Broth, Onion & Garlic Mixture & Rice|
|Gentle, rolling boil - see how the rice is absorbing the chicken broth|
|Rice after about 18 minutes - ready for garnish!|
The following night, we combined the leftovers with cooked ground sirloin, stuffed it into bell peppers and baked for a nice main course. So the dish is versatile as well as delicious.
From a technique standpoint, I missed watching the Arborio rice develop pretty little shiny pearls on its side before liquid is added. Also missing was the labor-intensive ritual of carefully ladling in the perfect amount of stock for the rice to absorb in order to obtain the correct texture. I guess I am a traditionalist when it comes to risotto. Like diamonds, I prefer the real thing! This faux risotto is an acceptable alternative if you are short on time, entertaining and don’t want to fuss too much.
Definitely don't forget to pair this dish with wine. It is hearty enough to hold up to a red, and we paired ours with a 2006 St. Francis Cabernet that was a real gem.
This recipe can be found in “Around My French Table” by Dorie Greenspan on page 380-81. As part of the French Fridays with Dorie community, members can post their experiences with the recipe on www.frenchfridayswithdorie.com. Click on the link or icon on the side to read what other members have to say this week.
|Voila - a completed dish!|