I've been a bit distracted lately, giving less thought to cooking than usual. I have a big quilting project going on, which is taking up quite a lot of creative energy, and a dear Great Aunt of mine recently passed away, so i've been busy with packing up her things and the funeral and so-on.
But one still has to eat! So here's a recipe that i 'rediscovered' recently, from 'GOOD' magazine,
(Nov/Dec 2015). As i often do, I've made a few changes - the original was called 'Italian Rice, Vegetable and Feta Tart' and included chopped fennel and zuchinni, but as both of those items are out-of-season at present i've simply omitted them and upped the silverbeet content (i put 'spinach' in the title as it rolls off the tongue a little more easily than 'silverbeet', but either green will work equally well). I also added some chopped olives, to add to the 'Italian' flavour.
In the past i have made this with Basmati rice - i can confirm, however, that it is nicer with Arborio rice as the recipe suggests.
Over the years i've made quite a variety of rice and vegetable tarts (/loaves/bakes), and you can of course add a whole variety of veges, according to what you have available. Grated carrot can be a good addition, as can sliced celery, corn kernels and chopped tomatoes. However i do like this recipe exactly as given - there are some lovely flavours that come through with the sundried tomatoes, rosemary, lemon zest and olives. It makes a lovely vegetarian dinner, and is also particularly delicious served cold for lunch (perfect for a summer picnic). It also slices much more neatly when cold. The recipe scales up easily if you need to feed a lot of people (or in my case, if you want plenty of left-overs for subsequent meals), and you can really pile in the green content. My tart, photographed below, contained less silverbeet than ideal, in my opinion!
ITALIAN RICE, SPINACH AND FETA TART
Adapted from a recipe in GOOD magazine, Nov/Dec 2015
1 cup Arborio rice
knob of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Big bunch of silverbeet, spinach or perpetual spinach, stems removed and leaves shredded
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olives, chopped small
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Zest of a lemon, finely grated
150g feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Oil a 20cm springform cake tin.
Add the rice to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain well, tip into a large bowl and stir the butter through. Leave to cool.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic until tender. Increase the heat and add the silverbeet, sundried tomatoes and chopped rosemary. Cook for a few minutes until the silverbeet is wilted. Season and cool. Add the beaten eggs and silverbeet mixture to the rice, along with the olives, lemon zest and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Gently mix together along with 3/4 of the feta. Pour into the greased tin and sprinkle over the remaining feta and Parmesan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and the centre is set. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.