When I first made this rice, I was planning on making more of a pilaf, with sautéed kale and onions stirred into cooked rice. Having just been used for smoothies, however, my blender was sitting on my counter, sort of beckoning me.
As I blended the greens into some homemade stock and coconut milk–both of which are fabulous for cooking rice–my kids looked at me with a rather puzzled look. Even I wasn’t sure how this experiment would turn out! Making brown rice green? As we ate dinner that evening, they confessed they were a bit scared about the new recipe but truly sang its praises. Leftovers are equally delicious. Interestingly, I’m the only cilantro fan in my family. I snuck a little in, thinking it might ruin the rice for them, but they didn’t even notice. You could add extra if you’d like a more pronounced flavor. Spinach would be a good alternative to the kale.
I like to slightly under-cook the rice, leaving the slightest bit of crunch. You could use white rice for this recipe and would simply need to adjust the cooking time down by five or so minutes.
- 1/2 cup tightly-packed, fresh cilantro sprigs (about 1/2 ounce)
- 1 cup tightly-packed kale leaves, tough stems removed (about 1-1/2 ounces; could substitute spinach)
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh chives (if you don’t have them, it’s fine to omit)
- 1-1/4 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
- 1-1/4 cups coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
- 1/2 an onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Put the cilantro, kale, chives and broth in a blender and blend until the vegetables are puréed. Add the coconut milk and salt and blend a bit more until well combined.
In a medium saucepan (with a good lid) over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onion until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and rice and saute, stirring occasionally, until the rice begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the contents of the blender, stir well, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and cook for 25 minutes. At this point, remove the lid and stir the rice. If there is still a good bit of liquid and/or rice is not cooked to your liking, allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
Then take the pan off the heat and let the rice steam in the covered pot for 10 minutes. Serve hot.