This casserole is a perfect way to make use of and enjoy the current fresh Spring produce. I definitely consider this dish as comfort food and it reminds me of a quick alternative to the Maltese Ross il-forn. It is perfect for a grey coldish day as I guarantee that it will lift your spirits and make you feel better. 🙂
I have used green asparagus here in this recipe, just because they are currently in full season here. However, it would also work well with some broccoli florets or some shredded savoy cabbage too.
With regards to rice, I used brown wholegrain rice which is more nutritious. However, if you prefer white rice or if that is what you have on hand, it also works well here. Any leftover rice you have available can also be incorporated in this dish.
I took the extra step of cooking all ingredients separately before mixing everything together and bake it in the oven. Although this is more time-consuming, I find that each ingredient will develop more flavour if they are first sautéed and then combined together.
This recipe can be slightly modified to be vegan too. All you have to do is substitute the cheddar cheese to a vegan alternative and make sure that the vegetable stock you are using is suitable for vegans too.
Cheesy Asparagus & Mushroom Rice Casserole
Comforting rice casserole dish incorporating delicious veggies which could be served as a main as well as a side
- 200g wholegrain rice
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 300g white mushrooms, sliced
- 200g green asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 150g mature cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
- Sea salt & black pepper
- Place the rice in a saucepan together with the vegetable stock. Cook it according to packet instructions.
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onion. Sauté for 8-10 minutes until golden and transparent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Remove from the pan and place in a casserole dish.
- Return the same pan to heat. Add another 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the mushrooms. Sauté on one side for 5-7 minutes or until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Remove from the pan and add to the casserole dish.
- Repeat step 3 with the asparagus.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Add the cooked rice to the casserole dish as well as the cayenne powder and the dried herbs. Mix everything together and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix in 2/3 of the shredded cheese with the rice and vegetables. Flatten the top so it is all even and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake uncovered for around 30 minutes until it is bubbly and nice and golden on top.
- Serve immediately.