Seasonal Tastes: April 2017 – Springtime Broccoli Rice

April is the month for bright green veggies.  Asparagus, broccoli, and leeks are all in season so I decided to make a dish that included all of them.  Go big or go home.  I’ve talked a lot about my newfound love for cauliflower rice (examples here and here), so when I discovered Trader Joe’s executes the same concept with broccoli, I knew I’d be on board.

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Nothing says spring like asparagus and leeks

Start by sauteing some chopped bacon.  Honestly, I used more than necessary.  I would say the equivalent of 1 strip per person is plenty.  Once that’s cooked through, drain on a paper towel and use the pan to start sauteing your chopped veggies in a little butter or oil.  I used one bunch of asparagus, one leek, and one clove of garlic.  After about 2 minutes, add riced broccoli and paprika.  No need to add salt since the bacon will offer up that seasoning for you.  The entire process – including chopping – takes 15 minutes.

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Saute away

I know my final product is a little dark in color and not the gorgeous bright green you might look for in a springtime side dish.  There are two ways to fix this:

  1. Don’t use paprika.  I happen to like the smoky flavor, but it would be perfectly good without it.
  2. Cook the bacon in a separate pan from the veggies.  Yes that means one more dish to wash, but it will protect the vegetables’ color.  You could also leave the bacon out for your vegetarian/vegan friends because I imagine it would still be tasty….just not as tasty in my opinion.
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Ready to serve

I chose not to do either of these things because I was in a rush on a weeknight and also because I was just cooking for us at home – it wasn’t about any sort of spectacular presentation.  The most important thing was that it tasted good (which it did).8  It might be nice, however, to preserve that bright green color if your serving this as, say, an Easter side dish.  This seems like a very Easter-like food item so keep it in mind for next year, will ya?

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Served with bbq pork chops