Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Not Your Mama's Brown Rice

To me, brown rice is one of those healthy foods that generally is pretty blah tasting. Poor brown rice, it is so unloved, so under appreciated. Those of you with kids and a husband probably well know the disgruntled look you get when they ask what's for dinner and you mention that one of the sides will be brown rice. Ugh, really? Really? I mean, seriously? Why would you do that to us?

Not today my friends!  

Follow this recipe and you'll be amazed at how creamy, flavorful, and well, just darn fancy your boring ole brown rice can be!

You'll want to start off with 2 1/4 cups of water, 1 c. brown rice, 1 tbsp. butter, and a pinch of salt in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cooking for 45-60 minutes or until the water has been entirely absorbed into the rice...except the bit that evaporates, of course.

While your rice is cooking, slice two orange bell peppers in half and seed them.

You could also use either red or yellow bell peppers. I chose orange simply because I feel like they don't get enough love these days. Everybody is always raving over Roasted Red Pepper this and that while its brother is left out in the cold.

Have a heart - use an orange bell pepper today!

Yes, I am a dork.

Place pepper halves in a baking dish. Drizzle lightly with oil and add a touch of salt and pepper. Roast in an oven preheated to 415 for about 20 minutes or until the pepper is soft and almost charred.

Take 1/2 lb. of fresh asparagus. Slice it into 1" pieces.

Drizzle with oil and add to your baking dish along with the peppers that have already been in the oven for half their cook time. Roast veggies together, gently tossing the asparagus once or twice, for about 10 minutes.

When the peppers are tender and the skin on them is blistered, place in a plastic bag or tupperware and seal to steam the peppers a bit. Wait 10 minutes and then reach inside the bag and remove the skin from each pepper half. The steaming method helps loosen the skin up quite a bit.

Don't be too worried if you leave a bit of skin behind. NBD.

Insert imaginary picture here.

Now, in your blender or large food processor, place the skinned peppers and a scant 1/4 c. half & half. Puree until smooth.  

Add pureed peppers and roasted asparagus to your cooked rice. Fold gently to combine all the ingredients together.

Top with a bit of parmesan and you're ready to eat!

Your brown rice will thank you for the makeover. :)

Roasted Orange Pepper and Asparagus Brown Rice (printable recipe)
Serves 4

2 1/4 c. water
1 c. brown rice
1 tbsp. butter
salt and pepper, to taste
2 orange bell peppers, halved and seeded
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, sliced into 1" pieces
Oil, for drizzling
1/4 c. half & half

In a medium saucepan, combine water, rice, butter and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 45-60 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.

Preheat oven to 415.

Meanwhile, place bell peppers in a baking dish. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes; flip. Add asparagus to the pan, drizzle the new addition with a bit of oil and season with salt and pepper. Return vegetables to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.

Remove peppers from pan; place in a plastic bag or tupperware, seal. Wait 10 minutes. Remove skin from each pepper half by peeling it off. Place peeled peppers and half & half in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. 

Add pureed peppers and roasted asparagus to the cooked rice while it is still hot. Fold ingredients gently together and heat through. Serve with a bit of freshly grated parmesan over the top, if you wish. 



  1. Looks delicious!!! Don't know if I could get DH or the kiddos to try it (they're like sticks stuck in deep mud), but I'm definitely game! As soon as I get that new blender... :o]

  2. This looks amazing. I love brown rice anyway but couple with asparagus and you've got a winner! Do you eat this as a main dish or couple it with a main (and what main do you couple it with)?

  3. I paired it with some grilled chicken for a complete meal. :)


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