Recipe A Day #27: Savory Blueberry Rice

Today we feature a side dish that takes regular old rice and makes it into something truly special. We've adapted and simplified a similar recipe from Mollie Katzen's exceptional new cookbook The Heart of the Plate (you can find her original version on page 200). Mollie's recipe was already easy: what we've done here at CK is adapt it to make it both more pantry-friendly and even lower cost. Wait until you see the look on your guests' faces when you put a stunning plate of this electric blue rice in front of them!

PS: Have a look also at CK's great list of easy rice side dishes!

Savory Blueberry Rice

2-3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water

1 onion
2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
10-12 ounces frozen unsweetened blueberries
salt and black pepper, to taste
lime juice, to taste

1) Cook the brown rice: place rice, butter/oil and water in a large pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 40 minutes until rice is done to your liking.

2) Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute onion in butter/oil on medium-high heat until soft and beginning to brown. Add frozen blueberries and continue to saute until blueberries thaw and begin to release their juices. Continue sauteing for 7-10 minutes until blueberries thicken and have a sauce/jam-like texture. Turn off heat and let stand until rice is done.

3) When rice is done, fluff well with a fork and add blueberry mixture. Combine well, then add salt, black pepper and lime juice to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-7 as a side dish.

Recipe Notes:
1) Mild taste, stunning visuals: This is not supposed to be a loud-tasting dish. It's basically just... rice, except that it looks really, really cool and it has an unusual, nuanced set of flavors. However, if nuance isn't enough for you and you'd prefer a more aggressive spicing and flavoring, see the following note.

2) Spicing options: Don't want to settle for "quiet" rice? Some ideas:

* Add two cubes of bouillon to the rice before cooking.
* Add 3/4 teaspoon Tabasco or cayenne pepper for a spicy variation.
* Add shredded parmesan or mozzarella for a risotto-esque variation.
* Add seared chicken, browned sausage or beans to make this into a main dish.

How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.


Mollie Katzen said...

Thanks, Dan! I appreciate your pantry-friendly tweaks. xo

chacha1 said...

looks delish!