This is a really simple dinner that is great for Spring. The broccoli can easily be substituted with asparagus, as that also goes really well with the bright lemon and garlic flavor.
If I have them on hand, I may also throw a few diced tomatoes in the pot with the rice to deepen the flavor. Additionally, you can really use any herbs you like. I tend to just throw in my Tuscan seasoning because I always have it on hand, however fresh thyme or even rosemary would be a welcome addition.
Lemon-Garlic Rice with Cannellini Beans
Time: about 40 minutes
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice (if using short-grain, cook time will be shorter)
1 cup water
Zest of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon (save the other half and serve the wedges as garnish)
1 teaspoon Tuscan seasoning (I use Penzey’s)
Large pinch salt
2 cups broccoli, chopped (asparagus also works)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, diced
Place rice, water, lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice, and Tuscan seasoning (as well as any additional herbs) in a medium or large saucepan with lid. Bring to a boil, then once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes with lid on.
While the rice begins to cook, prepare the broccoli by chopping it. Dice the 1/2 onion.
In a small saucepan or sauté pan, cook the onions on high heat until caramelized. To help achieve this, I use water to help the onions not stick (this also helps to sort of deglaze the pan).
Once the rice has been simmering for 15 minutes, add the broccoli along with a splash of extra water and a large pinch of salt. Return the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked and broccoli is tender.
During this time, drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Add to cooked rice and broccoli until the beans are warmed through.
Serve with caramelized onions and lemon wedges. I also have extra salt on the table for my husband, as well. Fresh parsley or thyme would -also be excellent garnishes!
I find this is definitely a simple and healthy meal that is also an easy way to throw in spring vegetables. You can add more veggies and herbs, so it can be pretty different, but the base is nice and fresh. Can’t really go wrong with rice and beans!