Summer Greens Rice Casserole
Summer is such a great time of year for incorporating fresh produce into every meal. I am working on creating a set of master recipes that will help you to use common ingredients in your pantry, what's in season, and what's in your CSA box! There are many awesome aspects to these recipes. They will allow you the freedom to play around with each week’s offerings while not feeling constricted to or limited by specific items. They are a great way to increase your comfort level in the kitchen and explore the use of produce you may not be familiar with. To get you started, here is a list of helpful items to always have on hand.
5. Cheeses (soft and hard)
8. Herbs (dried and fresh)
This is an adaptation of a recipe my Mom used to make for us as kids. Broccoli Rice Casserole is the “Original” using brown rice, broccoli and a combo of parmersan and cream cheeses. In the pictures featured, I am using Green Radicchio and Kale for the greens, brown rice, and cheddar/cream cheeses.
1 Tbsp ANY oil or butter
2 Cloves garlic, pressed
1 onion of any variety, chopped
45 cups fresh greens or veggies chopped to desired size
6 oz soft cheese
4 oz hard cheese grated (Divided, reserve 12 Tbsp for sprinkling atop casserole)
1 cup rice cooked as per package directions
Start by cooking rice according to package directions, while that cooks, begin the following steps. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat your oil or butter in a large pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until browned, about 34 minutes.
Add veggies/or greens. Cover with lid and let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook 3 more minutes. Once veggies are cooked to your liking, add soft cheese and cover once more. Let the soft cheese slowly melt into the veggie mixture, this takes about 25 minutes depending on the cheese you opt for.
Once you have a creamy veggie/cheese mixture, add the hard cheese and stir for 12 minutes. Keep over low heat while adding the cooked rice to the pan with the veggie/cheese mixture. Mix rice in slowly, and carefully. Do not over mix, it will become mushy.
Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish/sprinkle with remaining hard cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and broil for last 12 minutes to get crispy top!
Helpful Hints: You can use jasmine rice, white rice, brown rice, brown jasmine rice, texmati rice...what ever you have in the pantry! Same with the veggies, broccoli, kale, summer squashes, chard...try adding bell peppers in the mix when they are in season! Cream cheese and neufchatel are nice mellow soft cheeses, if you opt for goat cheese it will add an “earthy” element to the dish. Play around with it and have fun! Use fresh herbs to top such as green onions, scallions, parsley, basil...the options are endless!
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