Down and Dirty Rice
Traditionally, what makes Creole “dirty rice” dirty is the addition of fowl gizzards. Um, no thanks. Chopped eggplant, a Louisiana crop, takes its place in this super-satisfying veggie version. Not spicy in itself, but you can make it that way. That’s what Tabasco is for.
Serves: 6 to 8
- 1 1/2 cup rice (white or brown)
- 5 cups water or vegetable broth, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium eggplant, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped (or 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 handful fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup edamame, optional
Pour 3 cups of water or broth into a large pot. Place over high heat and bring liquid to boil. Add rice and bay leaf and give a quick stir. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes (brown rice may need an additional 10 minutes) or until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Remove bay leaf and set aside. This step may be done a day or two ahead and stored well-covered in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped garlic, onion and eggplant. Saute, stirring for 5 minutes, or until vegetables soften. Add chopped celery green pepper, tomato paprika and thyme. Continue cooking another 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice and remaining 2 cups of water or broth.
Reduce heat to medium and cook another 10 minutes until mixture is moist but all liquid is absorbed.
Stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice and chopped parsley, and for a pop of protein and bright green color, fold in optional edamame.Keeps several days in the fridge, flavor improves over time.
- For more ways to use brown rice, explore Classic Rice Dishes.
- Here are more Creole classics, veg style.
Ellen Kanner writes the Meatless Monday column for The Huffingon Post, is the Edgy Veggie, a syndicated columnist, and Dinner Guest blogger on Culinate. She is also a contributor to Bon Appetit, Relish, Eating Well, Vegetarian Times, More, the Miami Heraldand regional publications across the country including Pebble Beach and Palm Beach Illustrated.