This week I had the honor of making dinner for some friends who recently welcomed their second son, Silas, to the world. Mama J is gluten-free, so I welcomed the challenge to make a dish that required a little more thought and planning than the metric ton of scratch mac and cheese that is my normal mommy meal staple.
I found this recipe in a book I worked on for my dissertation and thought it looked tasty, so I attempted it despite the fact that I lack the facility for cooking rice — especially brown rice — properly. I can count on one hand the times I have successfully cooked rice without the aid of a steamer. Pathetic. Perhaps I should just practice.
Anyhoo, despite the rice being a bit on the chewy side (with the understanding that brown rice is already a bit chewy anyway), I thought this dish was extremely tasty. And once again, I am shocked at how much spinach cooks down.
Oh, and I did take a small container of scratch mac and cheese for their older boy, who is about six weeks older than Harry and whom I reckoned would be about as disinterested in achieving Inner Peace as my boy.
Inner Peace Brown Rice and Cashews
adapted from The Recipe Club
1/4 c EVOO
1/4 c scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup long-grain brown rice (the original calls for short-grain, which I overlooked when shopping)
2 c vegetable stock
1/4 t salt
3/4 c roasted, unsalted cashews
1/2 lb white mushrooms, sliced
6 c spinach leaves
3/4 t tamari (I used a whole t because I’d accidentally omitted the salt)
Step 1: Heat 2 T olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and garlic and sautee for 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Add the stock and salt and bring to a boil. [Ed. note: Uh, I think I see why the rice was too chewy. I omitted the “bring to a boil” step. Duh.] Cover and let simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Heat 2 T olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add coarsely chopped cashews and mushrooms and sautee until the mushrooms are soft and the cashews are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and tamari and cook until wilted, 3-4 minutes more. Season with pepper. Stir the vegetables into the cooked rice. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.