- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup small diced yellow onion
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2 cups dry Arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
- 1 tabespoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to top
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to top
- butter for coating the dish
- chopped parsley for topping
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until transluscent and browned, about 5 minutes. Just as the mixture is browning nicely, add dry rice and toss to coat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the rice is toasted and just beginning to brown. Add the lemon zest, thyme leaves, chili flakes, salt and pepper and spinach. Toss to heat through.
- Transfer the onion and rice mixture to the prepared buttered dish. Pour warm chicken broth, water, and lemon juice over the rice mixture. Add cheese and stir gently to ensure even cooking.
- Place in the oven and allow to cook, uncovered for 40 – 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes. Rice is done when liquid is absorbed and mixture is cooked through and creamy. If rice mixture is still crunchy, add more hot water or hot chicken broth about 1/3 cup at a time.
- When cooked though, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before tasting. Add salt to taste. Serve topped with fresh parsley, crushed red pepper, and more cheese. Rice will last, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 3 days. If the rice becomes too thick in the refrigerator, loosen while heating with water or broth.
- Serving Size: 6