Green and red, earth and sea, shrimp and mushrooms, rice and herbs for you and me! Spring is here and the colour I associate the most with the barely new season is green. Here in Toronto we’ve had a mild winter and Spring has been unusually warm with temperature reaching 25 Celcius last weekend.
One of my favourite things to cook with are herbs. The garden will be full of herbs in the summer time and allows me to cook with so much freedom and alter a dish depending on my mood. Spring means herbs are back in the market, Spring onions, leafy greens and even wild edibles like dandilions, mushrooms and wild garlic and ramps.
Another green that’s fresh (although available all year) is spinach and that’s the one component of this oh-so green rice on this dish. Iron-rich spinach and very flavourful parsley leaves make up the green sauce that gives the rice this brilliant colour. You can use parsley leaves but try the stems – they often get snipped and thrown into the trash when they are in fact edible and full of flavour!
Once again I’m baking the rice here…a favourite way to cook rice in my family but if you prefer stove-top, that’s your prerogative. Add the processed spinach and parsley near the end (still some liquid) so the greens can cook a bit yet not turn black from over-cooking. The finishing touch to the dish is shrimp and mushrooms – a natural combo and I do love earth & sea combinations.
This is a quick and easy dish…herbacaeous green rice reminiscent of Spanakorizo with a hint of mint and shrimp and mushrooms to finish the dish with some fresh lemon zest and juice to freshen the dish and some dried Greek oregano, drizzle of Greek olive oil and dinner is served. Delicious, nutritious, eye-catching and easy…dinner is served.
Herbaceous Green Rice & Shrimp (Πρασινο Ρυζι με Βοτανα και Γαριδες)
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper (I added a hot pepper)
2 1/2 cups of hot vegetable stock
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley stems
1/2 cup baby spinach or blanched chopped spinach
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint (1/2 if dry)
zest of 1 lemon
good squeeze of lemon juice
20-25 medium-sized shrimp, peeled & deveined
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups sliced button or Cremini mushrooms
squeeze of lemon juice
2 tsp. dried Greek oregano
pre-heated 400F oven
- Pre-heat your oven and prepare your rice by rinsing it then placing in a casserole dish along with the grated onion, olive oil, stock, black pepper and diced peppers and salt to taste. Place in your pre-heated oven for thirty minutes (uncovered).
- In the meantime, put your parsley stems, spinach and mint in a food processor with a splash of water to help blend the greens. process until a smooth green paste. At the thirty minute mark take the rice out of the oven and add the spinach and herb purée and stir-in. Place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the oven and add the lemon zest and a good squeeze of lemon juice and fluff with a fork. Cover and keep warm.
- You may want to time your shrimp and mushrooms to be ready when the rice is; Place a skillet on your stove-top to high and toss your shrimp with olive oil, salt, pepper and once hot, sauté until just pink on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add a bit more oil and add the sliced mushrooms with some salt and pepper and sauté until they are light brown on both sides. Add the shrimp back in with the shrimp to heat through, add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and the dried Greek oregano.
- Dive and place the herbed green rice and top with mushrooms and shrimp. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, dried Greek oregano and some more lemon zest. Serve with a Gaia Notios White.
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