Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole (veg, gf) & Planting Herbs Like a Boss

So I’ve cautiously planted a few things this year… useful things. Herbs. This is my first shot at eating something I’ve grown and, as of this morning, the herbs were still alive (victoreeeeeeeyyyy!). Though the herbs aren’t dead, I’ve formed a bad habit of tending to but not using them- and what’s the point of that?! Sheesh. I decided to make this casserole to pick some thyme and let it do it’s thing. To give it its thyme to shine, if you will (yuk yuk yuk).

cass2

Here are the products of my attempt at green thumbing-it. Irises I didn’t plant, the suspiciously healthy herbs, succulents that survive in desert conditions, coreopsis and other native plants that were the lone survivors of a Washington University drought experiment (thanks, Julie!), and basil, which would probably grow in a highway ditch.

Stand back. I am a master gardener.

To use my homegrown, real-life, big girl thyme and combine my love of grains, casseroles, and veggies, I made this delicious fare last night. Largely based on Heidi Swanson’s wild rice casserole (I know, I know, I keep coming back to Heidi), I added more dairy and waaay more veggies to make this a hearty and filling vegetarian side. Served with greens, another veggie, or with salmon as Dave enjoyed it, it’s a main dish. It’s quite tasty and addictive- I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

cass veggies

get jazzy on it

BROCCOLI WILD RICE CASSEROLE

Inspired by Heidi Swanson

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz cottage cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
  • 5-6 cremini mushrooms, diced
  • half a large yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic or 4-5 cloves roasted garlic
  • 3 leaves kale, ribbed and cut into ribbons
  • 1 small head broccoli, stems diced and florets cut into quarters

Directions:

To cook the wild rice: in a small stockpot, add the wild rice, water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is chewy. You may need to drain this, depending on how temperamental and stubborn your rice is. Set aside!

I got some wild, wild rice

I got some wiiild, wiiild rice**

As the rice cooks, heat the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan. Add your pre-chopped veggies and sauté in this order:

  1. carrots, mushrooms, thyme, onion, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt for 3 minutes
  2. add kale and broccoli, cook another 2 minutes
  3. add celery and garlic, cook 2 minutes more
  4. your kitchen smells amazing now.

cass veggies cook

Set the veggies aside or just scoot the pan to a cold burner. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, milk, and as much pepper as you’d like. You can whisk in the last 1/2 tsp salt here or omit it altogether.

cass eggs

Preheat your oven to 350. Using a bit more olive oil or some butter, grease a casserole dish. I used a large Corningware but a 9X9 would work well here, or even a 9×13. Fold the rice into the dairy and egg mixture and then fold in the veggies.

cass all mixed in bowl

Pour the rice and veggie mix into the greased casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes depending on the depth of your casserole dish. You want the casserole to be heated through and the top to be golden brown. All done! Let cool slightly and serve!


**


Heidi Swanson’s Broccoli Gribiche and My Coconut Kitchen Giveaway Winner! (veg, gf)

First things first: thank you to everyone who entered last week’s giveaway. I really enjoyed your responses- what healthy, creative people you are! To impartially choose a winner, I used the super-technical method of writing names on slips of paper and having a coworker choose one before lunch. All documented on high-quality iPhone video.

Rrrrrrroll ’em!

Congratulations Diana, winner of the My Coconut Kitchen coconut butter sampler pack! I hope you enjoy the sumptuous spreads as much as I do- let us all know how you use them.  Thank you to My Coconut Kitchen for the prize- be sure to check out Angie’s delicious inventory!

congrats

This week, I was looking for a meatless recipe with simple, clean flavors  that would fill me up, create leftovers, and be relatively simple to prepare. I was short on time and motivation and long on hunger, so who did I turn to? Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day, a wonderful cookbook given to me by a wonderful aunt. My last Heidi Swanson post brought us another delicious meatless dinner- white beans with cabbage. Heidi’s broccoli gribiche recipe is listed in Super Natural Every Day under “lunch” and would be a showstopper at a picnic or potluck. I know it was a big hit at my one-woman potluck. Here it is! Broccoli gribiche.

gribiche done

BROCCOLI GRIBICHE

Adapted from Heidi Swanson

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes
  • 1 large head broccoli, florets chopped into bite-sized pieces and some stem chopped
  • 2 tbsp + 1/4 cup olive oil (healthy fat!)
  • kosher salt
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, 1 cooked yolk set aside
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried chives

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and arrange two racks in the middle and top of the oven. Wash the potatoes and chop any potatoes larger than your thumb in half. Do not chop your thumb in half, only thumb-sized potatoes. Toss the potatoes and any thumb bits with one tablespoon of the olive oil and a large pinch of kosher salt in a large bowl; turn the potatoes out into a single layer on a baking sheet and roast on the middle oven rack for the first 15 of 30 minutes. Set the bowl aside.

While the potatoes cook, hard boil your eggs. You can find a foolproof allez! gourmet hard-boiling method here if you need it- super, super easy. While the eggs cook, wash and chop your broccoli and toss with another tablespoon of olive oil and another pinch of salt in the large bowl. Once the potatoes have cooked 15 minutes, stir the potatoes, turn the broccoli out onto a separate baking sheet and place the broccoli on the top rack of the oven, roasting the potatoes and broccoli another 15 minutes. You can set both baking sheets aside when the roasted veggies are done.

potatoes and broccoli

Back to the eggs: let your hardboiled eggs cool in ice water for speedy cooling and to prevent rings around the yolks. Peel one, remove its yolk, and mash that yolk in the trusty, large bowl you used for the potatoes and broccoli. I’m saving you dirty dishes here. My husband would be proud. Verrry sloooowly whisk the 1/4 cup olive oil into the mashed egg yolk, emulsifying the mixture. It will be a lovely, velvety, glossy yellow.

dressing emulsify

a!g action shot! bam! pow!

Whisk in the mustard and then the vinegar. Add the shallots, capers, and herbs, mixing the gribiche well. Chop the remaining 3 1/2 eggs and gently fold them into the mixture.

dressing shallots

Now for the fun part- combine the potatoes and broccoli in an an even larger bowl and add the dressing, gently tossing everything to coat. Serve. This stuff is seriously delicious, reheats very well, and can be served cold or at room temp. The flavors of the dressing were even better the next day, having had some time to mix and mingle overnight. Cheeky devils. I paired mine with Trader Joe’s new cruciferous crunch mix, braised in olive oil with a bit of red wine vinegar. Enjoy!

dinnah is served

dinnah is served

Harkening back to March of last year, here’s an allez! gourmet recipe for a classic Spanish potato salad, Ensaladilla Rusa.


White Beans, Cabbage, and a Lovely Cookbook (v, gf)

I’ve always looked up to my aunt Liz. A world-traveling, multilingual, distance running biological science grant approver with a PhD, she’s been reliably exciting and in-the-know my entire life (and hers, too). Being around her has always been an exhilarating treat; you should have seen the fervor caused when my two sisters and I would rip open boxloads of Liz’s hair products, makeup, jewelry, headbands, etc. that she was through with or passing on before an overseas move. Watching us divvy those half-used cans of designer mousse was like watching sweaty, sobbing pre-teen fans claw over each other to grab a tossed scrunchie at a Britney Spears concert. Big, Big News.

super natural

As you can imagine, this sense of excitement has only slightly dissipated, mostly because I’ve caught on to the whole “acting calm in public” thing (work in progress). When Liz gave me a copy of Heidi Swanson’s James Beard award-winning “Super Natural Every Day,” I had to work really hard to not squeal and yell MINE as soon as she handed it over. Super Natural is a lovely book by a lovely chef, filled with lovely photos and very helpful tips. In addition to the creative, delicious recipes, the pantry chapter is my favorite- Heidi really breaks down how to properly stock a modern kitchen. The cover recipe looked so glorious, I had to try it first. Cooked cabbage is a win in any dish for me, and this recipe was no exception. Have you tried Heidi’s recipes? What did you think?

WHITE BEANS AND CABBAGE

Adapted from Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag shredded green cabbage, about 3 cups
  • 2-3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1/4″ dice
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Take the time to let your OCD freak flag fly and really dice your potatoes into a small, uniform dice. Doing so will not only enhance the beauty of this dish and ensure even cooking of the potatoes, but will provide you with more crispy, cooked potato surface area, and who doesn’t want that?

shallots and potato

So. Do that, then toss the potatoes and a healthy pinch of kosher salt with the hot oil. Cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, scraping the pan occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through. Add the shallots and the beans.

potatoes and beans

Allow the beans to cook in a single layer for a minute or two, until they’re slightly browned. Scrape the pan again, cook until the beans are browned all over and a bit crispy, then add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and the cabbage. The cabbage will wilt as you stir; once it has broken down a bit, you’re ready to taste for seasoning and serve.  Enjoy!

we served ours with pork tenderloin. 'twas delish.

we served ours with pork tenderloin. ’twas delish.