16 January 2008

Book Lust: "Quick Vegetarian Pleasures"

This post is supposed to be about chicken stock. And I promise I will get to that eventually in a follow-up post, but first I must discuss tonight's dinner. My friend, ErinM, from the CLBB and I were chatting about some vegetarian cookbooks she acquired during the holidays. She was asking me which recipe she should make... and I must admit I was totally selfish in my choice- I specifically picked the recipe I wanted to eat. I was hopeful she would make it, love it, and give me the recipe. Lucky for me, my evil scheme worked out and I got a delicious meal! If you are reading this Erin, thanks for being the guinea pig and typing the recipe for me.

Based on this one meal alone I want Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. It is simply titled Rice, Brocooli and Feta Cheese Sauté, and the simplicity is why I am enamored. I have made several "skillet meals" that included vegetables and rice in my life. I was sort of skeptical - how can she make these very few, simple ingredients taste new and interesting. Well count me as a believer. I only made a few, very minor changes to the recipe, and it is delicious. I am not a vegetarian, but I do believe in incorporating vegetarian meals into my routine. This recipe is going to be a keeper- especially since I think the left overs will make fantastic lunches at work!

I marked my changes in parentheses next to the recipe, but I think the most important change that I made to the recipe for me was to add a squeeze of fresh lemon to my dish at the very end. It cut through the rich saltiness of the feta cheese and brightened the whole dish- so good!

Thanks again to ErinM for posting the recipe!!

Rice, Brocooli and Feta Cheese Saute

From Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, Jeanne Lemlin

1 Cup white or brown rice (I used brown)
2 Cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp veggie/canola oil (I omitted)
1/4 cup olive oil (I used more like a tablespoon, 2 at the most)
4 garlic cloves minced
2 medium tomatoes cored, seeded and diced (I didn't bother seeding or coring)
1 bunch broccoli stalks peeled and cut into bite size pieces (about 5 cups)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup water (I used white wine instead)
1 cup feta cheese crumbled (I used about 2/3 cup instead)
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the rice water salt and oil in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat (I just used my rice cooker, making my measurements based on the appliance). Lower heat to simmer and cook until all of the water is absorbed (20 min for white rice, 45 for brown). When done, remove from heat and keep covered.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic 2 minutes stirring frequently. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes and saute 2 minutes more. Add broccoli and oregano, toss well. Pour in water and cover the pan. Raise heat to medium high, cook 5 minutes or untl the broccoli is tender but not mushy. (remove cover occasionally and toss)

Stir in the hot rice, feta cheese and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


Ricki said...

Hi Josie,
I found your site via Test Drive Kitchen and had to leave a comment bsed on your dogs alone! My site also frequently features my two dogs (one of which looks like your black guy on the right of the pic). I'm interested in healthy cooking and baking and will definitely come check out your recipes! I own 3 of Lemlin's books and find they are all quite good for staple dishes.

Erin said...

Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! And am blushing to be a feature in a blog post!