Edible East Bay’s Spinach and Rice Torta

From Skip the Utensils by Rachel Trachten

As we were learning about Thrive Dining, we started thinking about the myriad times in life when having easy-to-eat food can make all the difference: Think traveling, hiking, feeding tots, and of course, parties! We created this recipe for a recent holiday gathering, where it was a hit with people trying to balance plates and drinks while standing around in a crowded room. It works for vegetarians, and you can leave out the breadcrumbs if you want it to be gluten free.

3 tablespoons fine, dry breadcrumbs
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock (or salted water)
1 cup Arborio rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh spinach, chopped, or 4 cups baby spinach, washed and chopped as necessary
12 large eggs
½–1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary or dillweed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1½ cups grated cheese of your choice such as cheddar or jack

Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly oil a 13 x 9–inch baking pan and sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs.

Heat the vegetable or chicken stock to boiling. (Note: The stock will provide saltiness to the dish, so if you are using unsalted stock or water, you’ll want to add salt at this time.)

Place rice in an oven-safe baking dish. (You’ll need one with a cover, and a glass dish is best, since you can see the contents without lifting the lid.) Add the cup of boiling stock (or salted water), cover dish, and bake for about 30 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed, then remove from oven and let cool as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until tender (about 6 minutes). Add minced garlic and sauté another minute until lightly browned. Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until leaves have wilted and most liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the chopped herbs and both cheeses. Mix in the cooled rice and spinach mixtures. Spread the concoction evenly inside the prepared baking pan. (It should be about ¾-inch thick.)

Bake until the torta is lightly browned and cheese is bubbling, about 25–30 minutes.

Cool slightly and then cut the torta into rectangular pieces small enough to pick up by hand. Serve warm or at room temperature.