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.
Spinach and rice and pumpkin slice
- 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)
- nutmeg and cayenne pepper to taste
- ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
- 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.
- Boil the rice in well salted water.
- Wash the spinach/silverbeet well and chop.
- 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.
- Mix the cooked greens with the rice. Add parsley, soy sauce, nutmeg and cayenne.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake for 30−40 minutes in a 180 degree C (350F) oven until the sunflower seeds are slightly browned on top.
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!