Thursday, July 15, 2010

Black Rice "Risotto" with Wild Clams and Peas

There's nothing like 102 degree weather to make venturing outside long enough to restock on fresh produce seem like a crazy, over-zealous, obsessive sort of notion. Any sane person (said my rapidly baking afternoon self, after hauling a 3-gallon watering can back and forth across the garden to water the new moss roses, which were a better idea when it was pleasantly cool several mornings ago) would stay at home and sit in front of the air conditioning vent and meditate on the virtues of icebergs. So I did. This, however, left me with mostly just cupboard and freezer ingredients to raid in search of a whole food, mostly-plants-especially-leaves dinner. Right.

So here's what we've got:
- Half a bag of organic black Forbidden rice.
- A can of clams, from the Coop, that says sustainably harvested and wild. These seem like good things.
- In the fridge: Garlic, white wine, yogurt. Nix the yogurt.
- In the freezer: Frozen spinach, frozen peas, leftover vegetable broth, leftover chopped onion.
- Outside: Assorted herbs.

Here goes...

Scant 1 cup Forbidden rice
1 cup vegetable broth
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 can chopped clams
About 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
About 1/2 cup frozen peas
Splash dry white wine
Aleppo pepper and/or freshly ground black pepper
1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
6-8 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced1/4 cup grated parmesan

Saute about a third of the onion in olive oil in a small pot over medium heat until soft. Add the rice, stirring for a minute, then the broth. Cover, bring to a boil, and turn down heat. Let simmer for 15 minutes, then add the juice from the can of clams and continue to simmer for another few minutes (I turned the heat up a little and left the cap off at this point, to let some of the liquid boil off).

Meanwhile, when the rice has been cooking for about 10 minutes, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a separate pot. Add the rest of the onion and saute until translucent, then add the garlic and turn heat down to medium. After another minute, add the spinach, and then the peas. When the peas have thawed, add the cooked rice, then the wine, parsley, basil, and pepper. Cook for a couple more minutes, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated (the rice should still be very moist). Add the parmesan, stir, cross your fingers, and serve.

Definitely edible. Serves 2, but you might want something on the side or a large fruit course afterward.

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