Saturday, 16 October 2010

Spinach Rice Gratin

During the week I followed Kathryn’s advice and made Heidi’s excellent spinach rice gratin.. Heidi intended it as a healthy single-pan recipe that would use up the ingredients on hand. Initially I intended to follow the recipe and then I realised I had ingredients that could be substituted successfully, so I followed the spirit rather than the recipe.

In went the spinach that had been around too long, the forgotten vegetarian sausage I found at the back of the fridge, some leftover sundried tomato pasta sauce that had not been a hit, wilted spring onions, a heel of parmesan cheese that was drying out. Once the gratin was in the oven I found that I had accidentally omitted the salt and oil. They could have enriched it but their absence did not distract.

I am sure I will be making this again. It is a great way to use up vegetables, rice and eggs. Especially if this unseasonally heavy rain keeps me from visiting the Vic Market and life continues to be so busy that it is hard to find time for shopping (or baking for today's Bread Baking Day).

Nupur of One Hot Stove is seeking one dish meals inspired by other bloggers for her Blog Bites (#8) event this month. This gratin would be great with a green salad and chutney but I served it as it was and loved it so I am sending it to Nupur.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Beauty and the Beast for World Bread Day
This time two years ago: Biscuits like birdseed

Spinach Rice Gratin
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
serves 4-6

3 cups cooked brown rice, at room temperature
2 cups chopped baby spinach
2 medium carrots, grated
70g firm tofu, crumbled
1 vegetarian sausage, cooked and finely chopped
2 dessertspoons of sundried tomato pasta sauce (or pesto)
2 spring onions, chopped
½ cup finely chopped roasted (unsalted) cashews
100g gruyere cheese, grated
3 eggs

1 tbsp sesame seeds
1-2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 25cm round baking dish with a bit of olive oil.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl except the topping. Tip mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds and parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until casserole is set and topping is golden brown and crispy. Serve warm.

On the Stereo:
Little Earthquakes:
Tori Amos


  1. Wow, Johanna, this looks absolutely perfect!! I love the spirit of one-dish recipes that can use up bits and pieces, but I also love the idea of following your version to the tee because it looks incredible!

  2. I have never made rice gratin. You gave me an excellent idea.

  3. Honestly, Johanna, you need to do an entire week of cooking things with orange so that I can stop bookmarking all your recipes. ;) I need some time to actually make them before getting distracted by the idea of the *next* thing you put up!!

  4. Sounds sort of like a frittata with rice. . . yum! My hubby loves anything "gratin," so I may have to try this out for him. :)

  5. I really didn't fancy this recipe when I saw it on Heidi's site but your pictures have me convinced. Looks delish.

  6. Thanks Astra - I suspect if I made it again it would be different as the ingredients I used were really the ones on hand and another time I might have other things needing using up

    Thanks Katerina - I am not sure I have made such a gratin before either but highly recommend it

    Thanks Hannah - we just share excellent taste in food - and think yourself lucky I don't get time to post more but, mind you, if you see more orange in my recipes you will only have yourself to blame :-)

    Thanks Ricki - I agree that it seemed a bit more fritatta than gratin but what I liked it that it wasn't too eggy and I am sure it would easily be veganised - though I suspect the HH would probably appreciate an eggy version

    Thanks Wendy - I didn't really fancy the topping that Heidi used so much but highly recommend you make your own version of it

  7. This looks like my kinda food - a great way to use up all your scraps and its making me hungry. In fact I think I might do it for supper this evening - I've got some eggs that need using up and courgettes and beans, thanks.

  8. We've just finished eating it Johanna, delicious! Used your cheese and sesame seed topping but put in a load of herbs from the garden and a large mushroom we foraged yesterday.

  9. oooh this looks liek a perfect dish to use up leftover produce!!!

  10. This looks really good, and a great idea for using up the leftovers too.

  11. Love the sound of this and I can eat it too! Will be giving it a go for sure

  12. This gratin looks very tasty and healthy! I like the idea of a one-dish-meal like this :-)

  13. That looks great Johanna and I think it may be supper tonight. With stir fried sprouts and made with half buckwheat and half rice. Thanks for making it, and posting about it!

  14. This looks good, tasty, and very more-ish. A real warmer, I should think. Great recipe.

  15. Such a healthy dish! I love that spinach is in season now and seems to be everywhere! I bet this would also be great with chard or kale.

  16. Thanks Choclette - courgettes and fresh herbs sounds like a good addition - glad you enjoyed

    Thanks Lisa - it is just right for when you are clearing out the fridge

    Thanks Cakelaw - yes great to use up the last scraps of food

    Thanks Katie - definitely a good gf go to dish!

    Thanks Sweet ARtichoke - all together in one dish is great for busy nights

    Thanks Helen - I have buckwheat groats - must try them in this

    Thanks A forkful - definitely moreish - but lighter than I expected so it is good for the warmer months

    Thanks Joanne - kale or chard sounds lovely in this

  17. Thanks for an excellent recipe Helen. I am a vegetarian, any suggestions for egg replacement?


  18. I love how you used up all different leftovers to put together this delicious looking dish!! And I had no idea that bread day had come and gone. :( Too bad.

  19. Wow wow wow! (Spinach and rice totally complete my Indian veggie curry association I got from an earlier post of your and is still on my mind.)

    I love dishes that allow for using up all kinds of leftovers. Omelettes are also great for that. This looks fabulous!

    I never follow recipes exactly, btw. At least, I usually reduce the fat and increase the amount of veggies.


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)