Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fresh Vegetable Saute with Brown Rice

Orange. Yellow. White. Green. Purple. Brown.

This colorful dish is a bowlful of health. It’s super simple, just some veggies and rice. It seems so unassuming, but it has just enough tads of this and dashes of that to draw out some nice subtle flavors. If you added red pepper and blueberries (do we have a blue-colored fruit?), you’d have ROY-G-BIV—all colors of the rainbow, in one bowl!

It felt like a particularly long day. When I got home, I poured myself a generous glass of Spanish rioja wine, turned on some music, threw my apron on, and started cooking. Some hot, fresh, healthy food sounded so good. On the menu: Fresh Vegetable Saute (Page 119) with Brown Rice (Page 209).

Golly gee willikers, this is a lot of chopping. Make yourself comfortable, because when you slice ten different kinds of vegetables at once, you’re in it for the long haul. Once everything’s chopped, into hot oil it goes! This stir-fry really makes me want a wok. But I don’t really sauté vegetables enough to justify that kind of investment (not to mention the space investment of another pan in my not-so-very-large kitchen). Oh well, a soup pot stood in for the part.

Get creative and add your favorite vegetables. The simple sauté—with a bit of dry white wine and a dash of soy sauce—is really nice. Only cooked for 5 minutes, the veggies were still a tad crunchy, and oh-so-tasty.

The rice has nice aromas of bay leaf, thyme, and pepper, and a quick hit of heat in oil brings out a nice nutty flavor. Brown rice is just so darn good.

I was applauding myself for choosing a Fiddlehead recipe that didn’t involve large quantities of cream and butter…just when the ½ pound of shredded cheddar cheese jumped out at me from the ingredient list. That’s for six servings, mind you, but I still wasn’t expecting it in this otherwise very virtuous recipe. Guess I shouldn’t be too surprised—and it was nice, at the end of the day, to have the sprinkling of cheese melted in. The chopped almonds were a nice topping, too! To serve, I made a well in the middle of the rice, filled it with veggies, and topped it all with cheese and almonds. Enjoy!

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