Spinach, Leek & Garlic Rice

I hope you all had a wonderful {and delicious!} Christmas with loved ones, for all those that celebrated. This week I'll be focused on some side dishes we enjoyed during our holiday meals which could easily be made for everyday meals all throughout the year. In our house, it's not a meal unless rice is involved. That's pretty much the standard in our house at least. There's something about rice that just completes the meal and gives us that satisfying feeling. So when we had a traditional glazed ham dinner for Christmas, I knew rice had to be on the menu. This Spinach, Leek & Garlic Rice fit the bill since the rice was perfectly flavored with spinach, leeks and garlic. It accompanied the ham deliciously and is a great side dish that's gluten free...

Leeks and garlic are sautéed until tender before adding the rice. Spinach and chicken broth are added to give flavor and color to the dish. I love how the spinach adds a nice color to the rice and having the rice cook in chicken broth imparts some flavor. If you'd like an all vegetarian dish, you can easily substitute vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. This is one rice dish I plan on making more often for other meals. Aside from ham, this rice will go well with beef, pork, chicken and even seafood.

Spinach, Leek & Garlic Rice
recipe adapted from Epicurious

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, rinsed well and chopped (white & light green part only)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

Heat oil in heavy large wide pot over medium heat. Add leeks, cumin and garlic and sauté until tender. 

Stir in rice and coat with oil from the pot. Allow the rice to toast up slightly, about 3 minutes.

Add spinach and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until rice is tender and most liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.