Green Greens Rice Casserole

Green Greens Rice Casserole

Cheesy-green rice casserole makes a humble but delicious meal -- and a great way to showcase those enormous bunches of spinach, kale, or chard you may find at the farmer's market. Even if you usually use white rice, try short-grain brown rice here: whole grains are nutty and delicious, and they're a great, inexpensive way to add nutrients to your diet.

Hands-On Time: 35 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
6 cups cooked brown rice (made from 3 cups raw)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large bunch of greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.), washed, thick ribs removed, and finely chopped
4-ounce packet of cream cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 packed cup grated cheese (Monterey Jack or cheddar is perfect for this)
juice from 1/2 a lemon, to taste
1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, such as mint, basil, or cilantro (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF and cook the rice. While the rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in a wide pan over medium-low heat and sauté the onion with the salt until it's soft, translucent, and starting to brown (around 10 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute until it's fragrant, then add the greens and cook, stirring, until the greens are wilted and tender, anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes, depending on the greens (if the mixture threatens to dry out, add a couple tablespoons of water and let it steam, covered, for a few minutes).
  3. Turn the heat off, and stir in the cream cheese, cut into chunks, until it is mostly melted.
  4. Now stir in the rice (if your pan isn't huge, you may need to move the whole thing to a large mixing bowl), and then the eggs, which you've beaten with the cottage cheese, and, finally, the grated cheese.
  5. Add a few squeezes of lemon juice, and the herbs, if you're using them. Now put a spoonful of the mixture on a plate and microwave for a few seconds, then taste: add more salt, lemon, or herbs if it doesn't seem fully flavored.
  6. Bake the rice mixture in a greased casserole dish, covered with a lid or foil, for 25 minutes, and then uncovered for another 10. Serve hot, with a green salad or sliced tomatoes.

See all recipes from Catherine Newman's "Dalai Mama Dishes" blog.

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