Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Rice Pilaf is perfectly delicious with lemon and toasted pine nuts too. All made so easily in one pot in an electric pressure cooker; my new favorite kitchen toy!
I know, I know…it’s cocktail day but I’ve flipflopped my schedule a bit and will share one tomorrow. In the meantime, have you heard the absolute groundswell of attention being paid to electric pressure cookers lately? It really is like something old is new again but these babies aren’t just new again, they’re new and improved! My mom had a pressure cooker but not like the one I used for this Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Rice Pilaf; I think all she ever did was use it for a whole chicken or roast. Ahem, I like mine SO much better!
I first received an electric pressure cooker a couple of years ago when I was included in an event organized by Cuisinart and they sent one to everybody participating. And then I got sick with a winter bout of flu and could not participate and they said, ‘No worries, just keep it.’ So I did. In my cabinet. It was a FULL YEAR before I got over some trepidation and decided to take a maiden voyage and I’ve been a fan ever since.
What took so long? Well, some long term ingrained notion that a pressure cooker can blow up combined with my having absolutely no idea how to operate one so I knew to expect a learning curve. And trust me, that was not a good enough reason to wait a year either. I’m totally hooked.
While I was busy procrastinating, my friend Barbara Schieving was gungho. She was making everything but the kitchen sink in a pressure cooker and I won’t deny, her gentle encouragement to ‘just do it’ finally got me going. Barbara quickly became an expert in the science of all things cooked under pressure and started a new blog called ‘Pressure Cooking Today’ with a bazillion recipes and tips for newbies and experienced pros alike. From that start she quickly segued to writing a book, “The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook” with more recipes. Knowing my interest, she asked me if I would like to review it and share my experience with you. So here we are!
It’s funny but for all of the wonderful dishes that can be made using the Instant Pot, two of my favorite things to use it for are rice and hard boiled eggs. I got rid of my rice cooker; there was no need for two appliances that do the same thing when one of them does a million other things too…so bye bye rice cooker. I didn’t have an egg cooker but if I did it would be gone too. I promise, the prettiest hard boiled eggs I have ever made…that shell almost jumps off of them and the yellow is bright and pretty and not lined with sad gray. Take a peek at this recipe for Deviled eggs with Lemon Zest Capers and Chives and see for yourself; absolutely perfect eggs (not to mention devilishly delicious)!
But let’s get back to this rice pilaf. While Barbara’s book is filled with a wide mix of wonderful dishes from main course to sides to desserts, this one sort of jumped out at me. It has a combination of flavors I simply love and have used together before when making either focaccia bread or homemade pizza (I’m so not a red sauce type). So I could have those flavors in a rice dish I cook quickly in the pressure cooker? HEAVEN!
I do have to admit though that I made it twice. The first time I was simply not paying close enough attention and the onions started to brown a bit…no problem I thought, I love caramelized onions. The taste was fine but the end result was not a white rice dish, more a brown rice from the browned olive oil on the bottom of the machine. No thanks. So I tried again and the second time I paid more attention and that matter of a couple of minutes made all the difference. Watch your onions (and garlic) is all I can say! I’m not sad though…I just had more to eat! 🙂
Have you thought about trying a pressure cooker too? I’ve had a couple and find that the biggest seller and one most are familiar with is the Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer. The big difference between this one and a bit less expensive one is the ability to make yogurt. I’ve not done it yet but I plan to. Soon. I think…but I like knowing I can, how’s that?
Anyway back to this dish. What words to say? It is like Tuscany in a bowl with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, toasted pine nuts and lemon. Could I have used the first batch I made yesterday? Of course I could have but I was so dying to try some I might have fudged just a bit…the color wasn’t all that bad but my tummy was rumbling and photos could wait until another day so we had it for dinner. Am I sad I have another full dish in the fridge now? Um, no. It’s delicious!
Speaking of photos; I just bought myself a new toy. I’ve been using a Canon 60D DSLR camera for 5 years and it’s been a workhorse but I was dying for an upgrade. I’m moving from a crop frame to a full frame Canon 6D camera and there is a decent learning curve. So, considering I just opened the box yesterday and got these shots done…I’m happy. Considering it was almost 5pm and this post wasn’t published yesterday at all is evidence of how much time I invested in familiarizing myself with it. I feel like that young girl who got her own phone in her room…yes, THAT excited!
I hope you’ll try this dish with or without a pressure cooker but what I REALLY hope is that you get one for yourself for the gift of saving time and buy Barbara’s book too…the two together are a true Win-Win.
Looking for more pressure cooker recipes on this site? I’ve made a few and we loved every single one of them!
Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Rice Pilaf
No pressure cooker? No problem. Follow steps as outlined except cook your rice according to package directions on the stovetop. Once done, fluff and add the sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and spinach and serve.
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1 can (approximately 15 ounces) of chicken broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup diced Sun-Dried Tomatoes (packed in oil)
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Select Browning/Saute function to preheat the pressure cooker pot. When hot, add the olive oil and onion and saute for 3 minutes until the onion is tender.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add the rice and saute for about 2 minutes until it starts to turn opaque.
- Add the chicken broth, water, lemon zest and salt.
- Lock the lid in place; select High Pressure and 3 minutes cooking time.
- When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes then do a quick release for any remaining pressure.
- When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and pine nuts and serve immediately.