August garden casserole

25 Jul


I’ve altered the recipe for this favorite dish multiple times since I first discovered it in one of my mom’s old cookbooks. But when I became gluten free, I didn’t have to change this healthful comfort casserole at all.

Start by combining 2 cups of rice, 4 cups of water, two teaspoons of salt, and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot. Then peel and slice approximately 1/2 pound of whole carrots and place the slices in the bottom of a steamer. Next, coarsely chop one head of cauliflower and two medium-size broccoli crowns, and layer the pieces on top of the carrots.

Steam the vegetables over boiling water, and bring the rice to a boil; then simmer the rice for approximately 15 minutes until all the water has disappeared. Meanwhile, grate approximately 1 cup of mozzarella cheese (I use Lucerne, guaranteed to be gluten free. Its flavor, however, sometimes seems bitter.).

In the large pot, combine the steamed vegetables, cooked rice, grated cheese, and 2 additional tablespoons of butter (My boyfriend first sneaked the butter into the recipe about a year ago, and he attributed the dish’s better-than-usual taste to the butter. Since then, I’ve religiously—though reluctantly—included these extra but delicious calories.). Stir until the cheese is completely incorporated and melted.

Salt lightly, if desired, and pepper to taste. Then plate and garnish with additional grated mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese (Again, I use Lucerne. This is another alteration introduced by my boyfriend. He, however, usually adds approximately 1/4 cup directly into the dish, but I find it too rich and salty this way.).

Enjoy with two or three family members or friends . . . or with that special someone who, like my boyfriend, just might suggest his or her own special improvements and alterations. (If so, please share them here!)

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