Spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

This rice and spinach based slice is an excellent way of serving up these two ingredients as a tasty side supporting act for ratatouille or a casserole. There are no eggs, so the pumpkin adds a layer of flavour and colour, and it holds this slice together long enough to transfer it from baking dish to plate, just.

A crunchy sunflower seed topping for spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

A crunchy sunflower seed topping for spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

Spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups of uncooked rice
  • 1 kg of spinach or silverbeet
  • pumpkin (the amount depends on the shape of your baking dish: we use about ¼ of a large butternut)
  • a handful of rocket leaves
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup of non-dairy milk (we used oat milk)
  • ¼ cup of chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (or tamari or seasoning)
  • salt
  • nutmeg and cayenne pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
  • paprika

Directions

  1. Slice the pumpkin into ¼ inch (about 5 mm) slices and cook them until they are soft but still intact (you need to be able to assemble them into the final dish). If you’re in a hurry you can microwave or steam the slices, but if you have the time, it is worth roasting them on a baking tray. Or you can do both: microwave first then finish off in the oven to develop that lovely caramelised pumpkin flavour.
  2. Boil the rice in well salted water.
  3. Wash the spinach/silverbeet well and chop.
  4. While the pumpkin and rice are cooking, saute the onions and garlic, then add the spinach/silverbeet and other greens and cook for a few minutes. You want the greens to be well cooked but still a good green colour.
  5. Mix the cooked greens with the rice. Add parsley, soy sauce, nutmeg and cayenne.
  6. In a large baking dish, spread about half the spinach/silverbeet-rice mix across the bottom. Then layer the pumpkin slices evenly across it. Top with the rest of the spinach/silverbeet-rice mix and smooth it all over.
  7. Sprinkle as much paprika across the top as you like, then top with sunflower seeds. Depending on the shape of your dish, you might need more than the ¼ cup listed in the ingredients.
  8. Bake for 30−40 minutes in a 180 degree C (350F) oven until the sunflower seeds are slightly browned on top.

Notes

This is an adaptation of a Mollie Kazten Moosewood Cookbook classic. If you want her far richer version, add to the rice-spinach mix: 4 eggs and 1½ cups of grated cheddar cheese. We happily ate that when we were young, but we don’t really need the same energy buzz any more!

A tasty way to serve rice: spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

A tasty way to serve rice: spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

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