Hye Thyme Cafe: Spinach and Onion Pilaf

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spinach and Onion Pilaf

Spinach and Onion Pilaf : Hye Thyme Cafe


Everyone in my family (actually, pretty much everyone I know), loves Pilaf, so it was always one of those things were were never allowed to "mess with." I had a hard enough time getting people to allow me to use my preferred brand of rice (Uncle Ben's). I like that it holds its shape and doesn't get mushy like many other brands (no Uncle B tonight). I was recently asked for spinach as a side item. I have no idea why, but it never occurs to me to cook spinach just for it's own sake. I'll use it in salads, pasta dishes, chicken dishes, spinach pie, quiche, you name it - I just never think to cook it as a side. That cinched it for me. I decided since I was going to be using spinach already anyhow, I was going to throw caution to the wind and mess with the rice.  Mmwwwahaha ...

Whenever I visit a friend in the Boston area, I make a point of trying to get to Jimmy's Steer House in Arlington. They serve a bunch of things I like, starting with their Zucchini Sticks. Then we usually move on to the Chicken Teriyaki and Pilaf with a side salad and Peppercorn Parmesan dressing. I pretty much like it all, from their bread basket to the croutons in their salad. I can count on one hand (with two missing fingers) the number of places where I will order rice, and Jimmy's is one of them.  It was theirs that prompted me to make this version.

Everyone ended up raving over it and looking for more, asking what was in it. They couldn't believe it was just spinach and onion that made that much of a difference.  


INGREDIENTS :
6 T butter
1 sm onion, diced
1 c rice
2 c chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube 
1/2 - 3/4 c cooked chopped spinach



Over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onion until translucent.







Add the rice and stir to coat well with the butter. Let it cook that way for a minute or so, stirring to prevent scorching.






Add the broth and bouillon and bring it up to a boil. Let it continue to boil, stirring frequently (yes, stir the rice), until the bubbles recede to the surface and you start to see holes forming in the rice. Reduce the heat to low, pop a cover on it and continue until tender.

When ready to serve, fluff the rice with a serving fork, squeeze any excess moisture out of the spinach (so you don't turn your rice green), and stir into the rice.

Spinach and Onion Pilaf : Hye Thyme Cafe

If you plan to use fresh spinach (I used frozen), I would suggest you either steam or saute it ahead to wilt it down, then finely dice it. Unless it's St. Patrick's Day, you definitely don't want to cook it with the rice!  


12 comments:

  1. I saw that picture and said "Jimmy's!!" I used to eat there (11am lunch!) all the time with my grandmother. I still live pretty close to it, although I haven't been in years.

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  2. That's funny! Hey, maybe we crossed paths at some point. ;)

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  3. I grew up a vegetarian so when you said you've had spinach pie I was shocked. I thought she made up that disaster. LOL! I still love spinach though. This recipe looks delish! It probably wouldn't be good with Jasmine rice though and that is the kind I buy.

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    Replies
    1. You only use Jasmine rice? That's interesting. Hmmmm, wonder what kind of spinach pie you've had that was so terrible. Oh wait, was it you who had mentioned a very vinegary version. That IS gross!

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    2. I don't know if it was me or not but that IS gross. LOL!. We were stationed in Okinawa, Japan and I've loved Jasmine rice since then. I love the smell and it is the only one I can cook successfully. My husband is from Louisiana and they use "Regular" rice. I never send my husband to the store to get rice because he won't come back with Jasmine.

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    3. Poor hubby - no gumbo or jambalaya for him?? Or do you somehow manage to incorporate the jasmine rice? You're right though, it really does smell nice when cooking. :)

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  4. This look delish especially since I am still *trying* to eat mainly vegetarian. Thanks for stopping by TALU.

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    Replies
    1. It really is, but that's as far as I've gone with it. The Armenians do several versions of rice, some with nuts, apricots, etc. Then there is bulgar pilaf ...

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  5. Love this. I make a similar recipe with some toasted pine nuts and fresh grated parmesan thrown in at the last. Yummy! I see lots of other interesting recipes to check out here, too. (Visit from TALU)

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    Replies
    1. Geez, you just reminded me that I have had pine nuts in the fridge for a while now and need to do something with them! I picked up a steak for myself for tomorrow night, so maybe I'll try your version tomorrow. Thanks! :)

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  6. Replies
    1. It is! Simple and delicious - a winning combo every time. :)

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