Fennel is the distinctive seasoning found in Italian sausage. I use an old coffee grinder I bought at a yard sale to grind the fennel seeds in this recipe. This dish would taste fine without the fennel, but is truly remarkable with it. 

By | December 02, 2017

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red (or yellow, or orange) bell pepper, diced (substitute canned or frozen if desired)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (about 1⅔ cups cooked)
  • 1 quart, lightly packed, fresh spinach, chopped, or 10 ounces chopped, frozen spinach (thawed)
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ to 1 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Instructions

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a wide skillet or pan. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt, stir once, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook according to directions, 30 to 40 minutes or until the rice is tender and water is absorbed. 

As the rice cooks, heat oil in a deep, wide pot over medium heat. Add garlic and stir. When it becomes fragrant, add pepper and cook 7 or 8 minutes, until it’s tender. Add drained chickpeas (sometimes called garbanzo beans), spinach, 1 teaspoon salt, fennel and nutmeg. When spinach is wilted add rice and 1/2 cup grated cheese. Taste for seasoning and serve, topped with a little more cheese, if desired. 

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red (or yellow, or orange) bell pepper, diced (substitute canned or frozen if desired)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (about 1⅔ cups cooked)
  • 1 quart, lightly packed, fresh spinach, chopped, or 10 ounces chopped, frozen spinach (thawed)
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ to 1 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.
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