Savory Rice Pudding with Crispy Broccoli

I admit it. I did it. After four nights of mustering the impressive strength to eat real food for dinner despite Gilles being away (which required the difficult tasks of either walking to friends’ houses to eat the dinners they prepared or reheating leftovers), I caved. I ate cereal for dinner. On Thursday. Yes, I did.

Which meant that I couldn’t eat cereal for dinner on Friday. Well, I could, but my self-respect was requesting something more.

Broccoli, crisped. Rice, made into a savory pudding. Together. Here it is.

Savory Rice Pudding

1 clove garlic
1-2 tsp crushed & dried red pepper
1 cup mixed rice (brown, wild, & radish seed)
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 cups coconut milk, divided
zest of one lemon
about 2 tbs chopped mint leaves
sprinkle of salt

Mince garlic. Heat about a tbs of olive oil in a heavy-bottom sauce pan, and add the garlic and chili pepper, cooking until the garlic begins to color, but not brown. Add the dry rice, stock, and 1 cup of the coconut milk and stir. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low, so that liquid just simmers. Cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Zest the lemon and chop the mint. When the rice has cooked to tender (it will have absorbed most of the liquid, but will still be a bit creamy), turn off the heat, add the remaining ingredients to the pan, and incorporate. Let the rice sit covered for at least 5 minutes, so that it will absorb a bit of the additional liquid. The longer the rice sits, the more liquid it will absorb, so keep this in mind as you’re preparing dinner.

Crispy Broccoli & Broccoli Chips

Preheat oven to 450 deg F. The broccoli is really simple, both ways. For the crispy broccoli floretes, slice the floretes from the stalk, chop or tear any very large floretes into smaller pieces, and rinse. Spread across a baking sheet, with floretes facing upward. Place sheet in oven on the top rack so that the floretes will brown and crisp up nicely. Cook broccoli for about 20 minutes, checking on the broccoli after 10 minutes, and then every five minutes until finished cooking. You can really push the cooking here – don’t be nervous! You don’t want to burn the broccoli, but you want the tips of the floretes to be totally crispy, and the bit of green stalk moist, crunchy, and nicely cooked.

For the chips, chop the remaining stalk/s in half, and use a vegetable peeler or a knife to cut long, thin strips from the center (you’ll want to discard pieces from the outside of the stalk). Spread the broccoli over a baking sheet, drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle over a bunch of salt (yum!).

Serve

Add rice pudding to a bowl, and top with a few pieces of crispy broccoli and chips.

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