spinach & green pea rice

June 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

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The farmers markets are officially in full swing. I am lucky to have access to fresh produce that is locally grown. Every Tuesday and Thursday a bunch of local farms gather at Dewey Square with bright greens and colorful fruit all in assorted bins. And during my lunch break I mosey over and treat myself by walking through the vendors, smelling the fresh breads and roasted nuts, and indulging in some juicy fruit. I am most looking forward to peach season. I can almost taste them! But being it’s Spring the options are a bit limited. Right now there are lots of greens — lettuce, kale and spinach. I did grab a large bundle of spinach and a bunch of asparagus this past week and found them both to be crisp and flavorful.

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The markets are a great summer excuse to eat fresh and healthy. It can be hard at times to eat the right things but I find summertime is one of the easiest times to do so. My body craves sweet fruit and frozen smoothies when it’s warm and a chilled salad or cold gazpacho soup makes my mouth water.

What’s even nicer is that going to these markets makes me feel happy. Not only am I helping myself by eating organic, fresh foods, but I’m buying local and feel like my money is being spent well. Some people find farmers markets to be expensive, and they can be. You are not going to get a deal on your tomatoes or radishes, but they will taste better than anything you can buy in the supermarket. I also find that I eat less when the food is so flavorful, so I buy less and therefore don’t feel like I’m over spending. It all seems to work out.

So with so much spinach in the house right now it only seemed appropriate to make a spinach pesto. This recipe is loaded with green foods. It actually turned out to be a very beautiful, bright green dish, just popping with color and flavor.

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Serves 3
Inspired by 101 Cookbooks

1 cup arborio rice
2 1/2 cups spinach
1 large shallot
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup harvati cheese, chopped
6 large basil leaves
salt and pepper
1 cup frozen green peas, defrosted

Bring 1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water and a touch of olive oil to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

In a food processor combine 1 1/2 cups of spinach, shallot, butter, olive oil, almonds, lemon juice, havarti, basil and a touch of salt and pepper. Pulse until combined.

Once the rice is cooked add the spinach pesto, the rest of the spinach leaves and green peas to the pot, stir until combined. Cover for 30 seconds to get a slight steam on the spinach. Serve immediately.

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