What’s For Dinner?
Bright Star's Spinach and Rice Casserole
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
Southern Recipe Restoration Project
For more than a century, the Bright Star Restaurant in Bessemer, Ala., has built a large and loyal following by serving classic Southern fare, with occasional culinary references to its Greek heritage. Last year, the University of Alabama published “A Centennial Celebration of the Bright Star Restaurant,” which recounts its colorful history and features some of its most-loved dishes, drawing from its Greek roots and the region it came to embrace.
This is one of several recipes that reflect that assimilation of flavors.
When this casserole is for lunch, there’s a standing list of Bright Star customers who want to know about it -- via phone or fax, and for good reason. It’s tasty, and -- good for us at home -- easy to make. Use rice such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice to make this dish come together quickly.
Hands on time: 20 minutes Total time: 50 minutes Serves: 12
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly squeezed
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup cooked white rice
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
21/2 cups milk
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
In a bowl, beat the egg gently. Add spinach, green onions, rice, feta and Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Transfer to the baking dish.
Heat milk to a light simmer, do not boil. Add bouillon cube and stir until dissolved. Set aside. In a bowl, blend melted butter and flour together. Slowly add mixture to heated milk and stir well to combine. Pour topping evenly over spinach mixture. Bake for 25 to 20 minutes, or until set and golden.