this was a requested dish at thanksgiving, but also good for this time of year. it is a sort of retro creamy casserole dish that i tried to make a bit lighter and healthier with a bit of modern spicing. and very tasty! leftovers keep pretty well and make a very tasty lunch.
broccoli and rice casserole
1 cup brown rice or white rice
1-2 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 or 2 stalks of celery diced
1 smallish onion finely diced
1 large head of broccoli cut into small florets
4 oz neufchatel cheese or cream cheese
1/4 -1/2 tsp smoked paprika (i think this is my favorite spice right now)
parmigiano and/or nicely aged cheddar
cook the brown rice in your favorite manner and drain. while the rice is cooking, in a deep, wide skillet, sautee the celery and onion in the olive oil or butter until soft and starting to brown. sprinkle in the smoked paprika. add the broccoli and a splash of water or stock and cover and steam for a couple minutes. cut the neufchatel cheese into small pieces and drop into the veggies and stir until everything is coated. add the cooked rice and grate in your desired amount of parm or cheddar. mix well and pour into a baking dish. melt a bit more butter and toss in some breadcrumbs. top the rice mixture with the butter breadcrumbs and slide the casserole into a 350-375 oven and bake until bubbly.