The first time I tried arroz verde was at the home of my Mexican friend, Vicky. I haven’t seen Vicky in years. We lost touch when we moved away but I loved her a lot. Vicky was a kind, caring person with a no-nonsense streak tempered by a great sense of fun. She was hardworking, practical, and a warm, loving mother. She was also a really good cook. I don’t know how she made her green rice but I never forgot it and I always wished I had asked her for her recipe. I know it had some kind of pureed peppers in it. I assume they were chili peppers but they could’ve been bell peppers for all I know.
Anyway, I decided to make my own version of the green rice I remembered from Vicky’s house with one difference….. I decided to use pre-cooked rice instead of cooking the rice from scratch. It didn’t look like Vicky’s rice which I remember had an even, pale green color all over, but I think it’s because I threw in some cilantro. The cilantro didn’t puree into a smooth sauce but instead broke down into tiny green flecks. Still, I thought it tasted pretty darn good! And using rice which I had cooked ahead of time in the rice cooker just made the arroz verde that much quicker and easier to prepare as far as I was concerned. It was so yummy and is the perfect side to a Mexican entrée. I might just be making this instead of Spanish rice from now on!
- 3 cups rice, cooked (day old rice is better)
- 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ large onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 1 cup packed cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
- Cook rice in rice cooker or over the stove. It’s better if you cook the rice the day before so it’s a little bit dry.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter or margarine.
- Saute garlic, onion and bell pepper in melted butter.
- Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add cilantro and puree with immersion blender until cilantro is very finely minced. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could puree mixture in a regular blender, then return mixture to pot.)
- Squeeze in lime juice.
- Season with salt.
- Add cooked rice and toss together until well mixed.
- Taste and add more salt if desired.