Rice Florentine; Tangier Walks

As we all know, Florentine means made in the style of Florence which means the dish has spinach.

I love fresh, raw spinach in salads and sandwiches..

I love cooked spinach in anything.

Mon mari even likes plain cooked spinach… as in frozen, naked, spinach, thawed in the microwave.

I will not even, for one nano-second, contemplate eating plain, cooked spinach. At a minimum it has to have olive oil and Balsamic vinegar; better still to have fried bacon and onions.

That being said I keep a kilo (2.2lbs) bag of plain, frozen spinach in the freezer all winter long and try to use some at least once a week in this easy Spinach Gratin or added to pasta or a stir-fry. It’s easy and healthy.

The recipe serves two but the photos were taken when the family was here – I had tripled the recipe.

We ate it all.

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Rice Florentine

This is an easy side dish made with cooked rice and frozen spinach. Even spinach haters love it!

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Rice Sides

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8oz (240gr) frozen spinach 
  • 1/2 cup (3.3oz, 95gr) quick-cooking brown rice or Basmati rice
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock (or whatever your rice calls for)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) Greek or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese 

Instructions

  • In small saucepan over medium heat sauté onion in butter for 5 minutes. 
  • Add rice and sauté 1 minute. 
  • Add stock and cook according to package instructions. 
  • Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess moisture. 
  • Combine spinach, thyme and yogurt.
  • When rice is cooked spread 1/3rd of the rice in the bottom of the baking dish. 
  • Top with half of the spinach, then half of the cheeses. 
  • Repeat layers. 
  • Top with remaining 1/3rd of the rice. 
  • Bake, uncovered, at 400F (200C) until cheeses melt and flavors meld or about 15 minutes. 
  • Remove and serve directly from baking dish. 

Notes

I use brown Basmati – both it and regular Basmati cook in 15 – 17 minutes

Keywords: rice florentine, spinach, gratin

Easy Rice Florentine

On Sunday morning, when most of us had finally arrived in Tangier, some of us took a walking tour. My Aussie friend who moved to Marrakesh arranged that (and all the rest of our tours) for us with her latest venture, Morocco Bespoke. Check it out if you are thinking of visiting Morocco.

Did I mention that the streets are narrow?

We had an early start. I love seeing the streets starting to come to life.

Our walk took us up the hill that Tangier sits on, to some of the fancier city houses – where more sunlight gets in.

We also had a great view of the harbor and, through the haze, the coast of Spain.

We went to the local, Sunday morning Berber market. The men and women were in traditional dress (not the tourists) and it was primarily a food market set up on the edge of the medina

One of the things we learned is that mosques, at least in Tangier, have green doors.

Green is an important color and has great significance in the Muslim religion.

There were quite a few mosques in Tangier. Sadly, for us, the only mosque possible for non-Muslims to visit is in Casablanca.

I’m not sure that this is – but you can see the green door behind it.

More from our walk next time….

4 thoughts on “Rice Florentine; Tangier Walks”

  1. That view is spectacular!

    And that rice dish looks absolutely delicious. I love rice. And spinach. Last night, we had creamy spinach, sausage and tortellini soup. I thought I’d bought a regular package of fresh spinach (I do keep frozen on hand, but wanted fresh in this) but little did I realize until I tossed in two big handfuls, it was half spinach, half arugula. It was surprisingly good, but not something I’d do again. I like the purism of the spinach, I guess.

    • I get half spinach and half lamb’s lettuce sometimes for salads – but not for soup lol Frozen spinach and frozen peas are in my freezer for winter. Other than that it’s butternut squash…. The peas go into stir-fries.

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