This 15-minute side dish will brighten up any plate. This recipe is kicked up with Southwestern flair that’s a little smoky from the cumin and poblano chile. Instead of instant Spanish rice, try this recipe the next time your family is craving fajitas, tacos, or enchiladas.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large poblano chile, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped white onion (from 1 small onion)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups water
5 ounces baby spinach
2 (8.8-oz.) pkg. pre-cooked microwavable rice (such as Uncle Ben’s Original Ready Rice)
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium. Add poblano and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a food processor; add cilantro, salt, pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
While poblano and onion cook, place water in a large microwavable bowl, and microwave on HIGH until hot, about 4 minutes. Add spinach, and let stand 1 minute. Remove spinach, and squeeze between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Add spinach to mixture in food processor. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds, stopping to scrape sides as needed.
Cook rice according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in cilantro mixture. Top with queso fresco, and, if desired, additional chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.