Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mediterranean rice with spinach, olives and fennel

Some days I really don't feel like cooking. Take last night, for instance. Listless and terminally sore from my sprints up the hill, I crawled home from work only to discover the fridge a desolate expanse of nothingness, save for a few scattered jars with leftover salad vegetables and some cooked rice from the other day. Whoever failed to do the shopping (you know who you are) will be punished severely. But no matter! Hunger beckons, uncompromising. So, here's a riddle: what can you make out of rice, spinach, fennel and olives?

While I stirred, flavors of fennel and olives rising from the pot and making me drunk with anticipation, I had dreams of Greek gods and goddesses tasting cheese and wine lounging on silky divans, caring nothing about the affairs of mortals. So I poured myself a glass of wine, Trader Joe's finest, and proceeded to feel positively nonchalant as I finished up what is quite likely the best impromptu meal of the month. This is to give you some inspiration to make your own "whatever's in the fridge" meal.

Mediterranean rice with spinach, olives and fennel

~ makes 3 servings

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups chopped spinach
½ cup pitted green olives, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil 
juice of ½ lemon 

salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan. Saute the onion on medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low, add spinach and saute for about 5 minutes. Add rice and fennel and cook, stirring continuously, a few more minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and olives and mix everything well. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

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