Cooking is an opportunity to travel the world without leaving your kitchen. Last night we went to Spain. I was excited to try this recipe because I adore Saffron, particularly in rice. It is challenging to find recipes that utilize what we have in season and this one was no exception as the original is made with tomatoes, eggplant, green beans and peas. But I use cookbooks (especially the ones with pretty pictures!) for inspiration and loose guidelines. I say “loose” because I love to break the rules, but that’s just me. So here is a twist to suit this week’s box. This rice dish can handle a lot of vegetables, please don’t feel limited by the quantities listed below, add more if you like!Rice With Vegetables Serves 4 1/2 cup Olive Oil 4 cups of Eatwell Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock or Water 1/2 tsp Saffron 1/2 tsp Paprika 2 tsp Salt 2 Green Garlic -what do you call these, sprigs???? minced using a good amount of the tops 1 Cauliflower, cut into florets 1 bunch of Spinach or Chard, washed and chopped 2 or 3 Turnips, peeled and cubed you can use the greens too, just wash, chop and add to the spinach or chard 2 cups of white rice I typically use basmati or jasmine but if you prefer using brown rice I would suggest using brown basmati or brown jasmine rather than regular brown as they tend to be lighter and cook a little faster. You will have to adjust your cooking time.
In a small pan heat 1/2 cup Stock with Saffron and Paprika and Salt. Let this cook on medium low while you are preparing everything else. Using a large lidded skillet heat 1/4 cup oil then add green garlic, cauliflower and turnips. Fry until they have a good amount of color, flipping them over with tongs makes it pretty easy. In the meantime wash and chop the greens. When the cauliflower, etc. are ready, take them out of the pan and set aside. Quickly cook the greens in the same pan, adding a little more oil if you really need to, but the water from washing should be sufficient. As soon as the greens are wilted pull them and set aside with the cauliflower. On medium, heat the rest of the oil and stir in the rice. Cook, stirring until the rice smells nutty and just begins to turn golden. Measure the plain stock with the cooked spiced stock, making sure you have 4 cups of liquid, if you are short use a little water to make up the difference. Add the vegetables and the liquid to the rice pan. Mix up well, cover and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes on a lower medium heat until the rice is cooked. More From Spain... When I was growing up I loved spinach. My Mom made creamed spinach, using frozen chopped because fresh just wasn’t popular yet. All of my friends hated spinach which I just couldn’t understand. Then one night I was having dinner at someone’s house and I understood -CANNED SPINACH; one of the most disgusting things I have ever had to eat. Boy have we come a long way:) Last night as I was preparing dinner I couldn’t help but think about all those poor people eating such awful food and how much they had missed. Our Spinach is gorgeous, dark green and sweet tasting. One of my favorite spinach dishes is a classic Spanish (and Sicilian I have been told) recipe - Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts. This recipe does include meat, but it would be very tasty without. It is amazingly simple and delicious, I hope you enjoy it!