I’m kind of embarrassed, because I’m excited. I’m excited about rice and beans. Who gets excited about rice and beans?
I’ve been playing with the dish recently. Perhaps you’ve seen or tried the Rainbow Rice and Beans, our standard, or the Tahini Rice and Beans. Well, two rice and beans recipes are simply not enough! I must have more ways to eat rice and beans, so people can laugh at me for being a vegan and eating rice and beans all day long.
I loved the way this dish turned out. I especially love the lemon zest on top. It really does something magical. But I must warn you, I think a microplane grater is absolutely necessary. A friend of mine bought me on as a present recently, and my word. It makes the finest, lightest, fluffiest zest I’ve ever had. It practically melts in your mouth. I almost want to tell you to skip the zest altogether if you don’t have a grater like this. Is that ridiculous?
Italian Rice and Beans
Serves One Hearty Meal
1/2 Cup Brown Rice, uncooked
1/2 Can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 Cup Oil Packed Sun-Dried Tomatoes, sliced into strips
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
1 Large Handful Baby Spinach
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1-2 tsp Italian Herbs of your choice, (basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, etc)
Zest from 1/2 Organic Lemon
Almond Cheesy Sprinkles, optional
Start your rice, I use a rice cooker. When nearly finished (or actually finished), heat 3 Tbs of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add herbs, tomatoes, and pine nuts. When pine nuts start to turn golden brown, add the beans. Toss gently, trying your best to keep the beans whole. Add salt and vinegar, stir gently. Turn down heat to low.
Place spinach in one layer on top of the beans. Place hot, steaming rice over spinach and leave for 30 seconds or so, until you see the spinach start to wilt. Mix gently and plate.
Grate lemon zest on top of rice and beans, and finish with a sprinkle of almond cheesy sprinkles if desired. I ate lunch alone today, so I only made enough for me. I’ll test the recipe in bigger portions sometime soon, but if you want to double it before then, keep an eye on the vinegar and salt levels – they may not double exactly.