Mediterranean Rice

November 24, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

You can make plain rice any day of the week, but with a few extra items (many you probably already have in your pantry) you can take an ordinary side-dish and turn it into something a bit more interesting.

Cooking the rice in tomato juice adds a deep flavor to the base of this recipe. Add to that the salty capers and robust sun-dried tomatoes so it takes on a lighter note. And, finally, who can resist the taste of an artichoke heart, which rounds out this dish.

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Spinach Gratin with Pecorino Toscano and Pine Nuts

January 08, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

This is a recipe worthy of being doubled or even tripled. Be forewarned, the measurements below make just enough for two people as a side dish. The curry flavoring and the bite of pecorino cheese adds a unique twist to how one may normally eat spinach. I wish I had made more because it was certainly the star of the show the night we ate this for dinner.

Spinaci Gratinati con Pecorino e Pinoli
Spinach Gratin with Pecorino Toscano and Pine Nuts
from the July/August 2011 issue of La Cucina Italiana

  • Fine sea salt
  • 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 pounds spinach, tough stems removed
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces Pecorino Toscano or other mild sheep’s milk cheese, grated on large holes of box grater (1 cup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, spread pine nuts on a baking sheet, bake until fragrant and just lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let nuts cool.

Submerge spinach in the boiling water and cook until just wilted, about 1 minutes. Drain in a colander, squeezing to extract excess water.

Heat broiler. In a large gratin dish, spread half of the spinach. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese and pinch salt. Top with remaining spinach. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, pinch salt and curry powder.

Broil until cheese is lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with pine nuts and remaining 1/4 cup cheese; continue to broil, rotating pan once halfway through, until cheese is golden, about 2 minutes more.


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