So it appears I can’t even make rice without adding cheese.
Everyone okay with that? Yep? Great.
Because it turns out, that’s sometimes all it takes to change something everyday into something spectacular. A bowl of plain, dry pasta is rubbish, but add a smidgen of butter and a sprinkling of grated cheese, and bam! Best thing ever. A pile of lettuce is not tempting in the least, but add some feta or goat’s cheese and I’m converted. White rice is boring. Cheesy spinach and garlic rice – amazing.
With just five extra minutes of your time, that uninspiring side has been transformed into a gooey, risotto-like dish that also sneaks in one of your five-a-day.
Serve this alongside a protein and some simple veg, and you’ve got yourself an easy meal. Or, you know, dig right into the pan with a spoon. I won’t judge (in fact I may have actually done this myself, just a little. Nobody will know, as long as you don’t post it on your blog for the world to read).
So do yourself a favour. Just say yes (to cheese).
- 1tbsp oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 200g long-grain white rice
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- ~800ml hot water
- 70g fresh spinach, chopped
- 100g cheddar cheese, grated
- Black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat (stirring regularly) for 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the rice, and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring continually.
- Crumble in the stock cube, and add around 500ml hot water to begin with. Mix well, and leave to simmer gently. When the water has nearly all been absorbed, add a little more, and continue doing this until the rice is just short of being completely cooked. At this stage, stir continually while the last bit of water is absorbed (make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan – you might want to turn the heat down to low). The mixture should be very moist, but with no excess water in the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chopped spinach and grated cheese, and season very generously with black pepper (this is key!). If you used low-sodium stock, you might also need to add a little salt. Mix well, and continue to stir for a couple more minutes while the spinach wilts and the cheese melts, then serve.