Broccoli Rice – Exploring Mom’s Recipe Box #4

When I was growing up, rice was something we only had when we ordered Chinese food. Well, that’s not totally true, there was Rice-a-Roni, the ever-present side dish. But really, can we count that as rice? It didn’t even come to my mind as rice until I typed the first sentence of this blog. So, basically, cooking rice was not something my mom did.

Then, at some point in the 1970’s, my (former) sister-in-law, Fran, introduced my mom this broccoli rice recipe, and it made making rice accessible to my mom. I think she also liked it because it gave her the starch and vegetable in one dish. Remember, this was still the time of the standard meat-starch-vegetable dinner plate (but we did ALWAYS have a salad before dinner).

In my house, rice is made several times a week, it’s kind of our thing (of course it is, I have a Persian husband). And, because of that, as much as I wanted to make this recipe as written, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I did an experiment. I put into my rice cooker: 3 cups of rice, 1 package of frozen chopped broccoli, 1 package of Lipton onion soup, 1 tablespoon of canola oil, and 4½ cups of water.

I was not sure whether the soup mix would give enough flavor since I was using 3 cups of rice. What happened was interesting, it gave some additional flavor to the rice, but really added flavor to the tahdig (the crispy rice from the bottom of the pot). I am not sure why that happened. We discussed this for a while, whether to add a second package of soup mix – no that would be overpowering, leaving it as is – no, the rice itself needed something; in the end we decided that I just need to add some additional salt to the rice, that was what got overly diluted in the larger pot.

Time for the BIG QUESTION – Will I make it again? Probably. It was an interesting change from our usual rice. And the tahdig really was delicious.


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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