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Green Rice with Smoked Paprika

2 cups / 14 oz / 400 g brown rice
3 cups / 710 ml water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 big handful peas (fresh or frozen)
3+ tablespoons arugula-shallot butter*
1 big handful chopped arugula
12 mint leaves, torn
a big handful grated melty cheese (i.e. Gruyere)

a generous dusting of smoked paprika
big handful well-toasted pine nuts (or almonds)
lemon wedges

In a colander or fine-mesh strainer, rinse the rice and drain. Bring the rice, water, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat in your thickest-bottomed pot. Dial the heat back so the water is just simmering actively - low-med. Cover with tight fitting lid, and try not to peek too often. Cook the rice until the water has been absorbed and the grains are cooked through, usually 40 minutes to an hour. If the grains have cooked but there’s still water to be absorbed, dial the heat up to medium-high until the pan dries out, being careful not to scorch the rice at the bottom. Remove the rice from heat, fluff with a fork, and then stir in the peas. Cover for another five minutes or, long enough for the peas to cook a bit from the residual heat.

The consistency of the rice is important here - you don’t want it too wet. Too dry is no good either. If you need to work in a bit more water, go for it. Then stir in a big dollop of arugula butter, I start with about 3 tablespoons, and add from there. Stir in the arugula, mint, and cheese. Season with more salt if needed.

Serve topped with a generous dusting of smoked paprika, plenty of nuts, and a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.

Serves 6 as a side.

*Arugula Shallot Butter: To make this compound butter puree 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, a big handful of arugula, 1 medium shallot (peeled), and a couple pinches of salt in a processor for at least 30 seconds - until it is no longer chunky. Add a pinch of sugar or spoonful of honey if you need to balance out the flavor a bit.

Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 40 min