Before boarding my flight to Salt Lake City to celebrate Max's birthday, I stopped into Beechers (Terminal C inside the Seattle airport - it's worth going out of your way to find) to buy myself some lunch and I spotted Kurt Beecher Dammeier's cookbook, Pure Flavor.
Don't be an idiot like me and pay full price, order it on Amazon and get a good used copy for next to nothing!
You'll want this cookbook, it is good, as in so good you will dog-ear almost every page so you'll know which recipes to make first! I spent my entire flight reading it cover to cover...it was all I could do to wait until I got home to get started on some! The Stuffed Mustard Greens recipe is from this book, it's the best new way to eat rice and it's dang delicious!
But before I tell you all about the recipe, I have to show you pictures of my Max and his trailer birthday party...it was a huge hit!
We had the party in my sister's travel trailer and the minute Max walked through the door his eyes lit up! He slowly looked around at everything and then said AWESOME! I made him a trailer cake and while it leaned a bit, it did hold together long enough to be cut. When Max saw the cake he said, "I think it's an R-Pod 187!" The boy knows his trailers!
The whole famdamly, including the wet dog, crowded inside the trailer to watch Max blow out the candles on his cake and open his presents. He was just so excited - while he was waiting for everyone to squeeze in he said, "I can't believe I'm sitting at a U-shaped dinette!"
I'm sure Max will have a new obsession by his next birthday but this trailer obsession has lasted a while... last year he was all about the moon and the year before it was car lights and before that it was wheels! It's anybody's guess as to what is next!
Okay, let's talk Stuffed Mustard Greens...a recipe inspired by the classic Greek appetizer, Dolmades. Mustard greens are a bit on the bitter side, you could also use collard greens or spinach but the slightly bitter taste actually goes well with all of the different components in the rice...roasted celery root, Gryuere cheese, green onions and red bell pepper...you are going to LOVE 'em!
About celery root...you know how it looks, usually covered in dirt with roots wrapped around it...strange delicious thing...if your local grocery store doesn't carry it you can always find it at an Asian market. Wash it, peel it and chop it up; I cut my pieces about 1/2-inch square but next time I will make them smaller. While the celery root is roasting you'll have plenty of time to get everything else ready - this is such a fresh take on rice - different, filling, savory...I know you will like it! Dang delicious, did I already say that? Well it is and it's worth repeating!
Stuffed Mustard Greens - Adapted from Pure Flavor by Kurt Beecher Dameier
1 1/2 cups short-grain brown rice (alas, I only had Basmati on hand and used that!)
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
24 mustard green leaves (The recipe actually calls for 2 to 3 bunches of mustard greens but they are HUGE leaves and you can tear them in half so maybe just one bunch or you can use collard greens or fresh spinach)
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 green onions (white and green parts), chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Cook the rice according to package instructions w2ith 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the celery root, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and the olive oil. Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cubes are golden brown, stirring once.
While the celery root is roasting, blanch the mustard greens in a pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Rinse the leaves in cold water, drain well, and dry with paper toweling. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the rice, celery root, cheese, green onions, bell pepper, rosemary, thyme, vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt.
To assemble the rolls, lay one left flat on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice off the stem (the thick part) and trim the bottom of the leaf. This helps the leaf fold more easily over the stuffing. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over each leaf. In the middle of the leaf, place 2 tablespoons of the filling. Fold the short ends of the leaf over the filling; fold one long side over the filling and then roll up the other side of the leaf, creating a small cylindrical package. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling. Serve at room temperature. Makes 24 small-ish rolls or 12 large rolls.