March 21, 2012

Broccoli with Lemon and Saffron Scented Rice

My sweet sister-in-law Susan gave me The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook for Christmas. It's got some great dishes to offer, including this one. The lemon is perfect for spring time - just enough pep to brighten up the table without going too crazy after a long winter. Brown rice takes longer than white rice to cook - about 35 minutes. But aside from that, this meal is a snap to put together. This method of cooking rice with a whole bunch of spices is wonderful. It adds so much flavor and makes the rice kind of creamy. It also eliminates the need for a sauce - one less thing to do, one less dish to clean. 

Serves 6.

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • Zest and juice of 2 small lemons
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey or agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • Pinch of chili powder 
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for sauteing the broccoli 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable Better than Bullion 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • Freshly ground sea salt 
  • Red pepper flakes 
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli, 
  1. Put all ingredients minus the broccoli in a medium sized pot. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until fully cooked - about 35 minutes (depends on your altitude). 
  2. In the meantime, cut up broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle olive oil into a hot fry pan and add broccoli. I usually add more olive oil - we love the stuff. Saute on high for a few minutes until bright green - it's ok if it gets a little browned in some places - makes it a little crunchy. Don't overcook your broccoli - you want it to be naturally crunchy not limp. It tastes better and is more nutritious this way. Season with garlic, salt and pepper as desired. 
  3. Fluff rice with a fork and place on serving platter to divide onto plates. Top with broccoli and serve. 
  4. Makes great leftovers. 


Kari Quaas said...

Yum. Where do you get your saffron?

Melissa Robertson said...

Mine is from the Canary Islands...not very convenient from here! There must be a good spice store around. I'll let you know if I find one. It's too expensive at a grocery store.