I forget about rice pudding
It’s quiet, subtle, unassuming…there’s nothing flashy about this stuff. Simply delicious.
It always makes me think of my Grandpa Sprague. That man loves rice pudding.
Grandpa takes his rice pudding straight up: sticky sweet and raisin studded. Classic, no frills. Always one to notice and appreciate the simple things in life, that guy.
Now, I love the classic rice pudding and there’s really no way to compete. It is, however, pretty decidedly a winter dish..at least in my head.
Today, though, I have a container of overripe farmer’s market strawberries calling my name…plus a pretty serious hankering for some comfort food.
So today, rice pudding gets revamped for summer time
…and some past-their-prime strawberries get new life.
In a balsamic reduction no less. Pinkies out!
I’m throwing this at you…deep caramely flavor with bright hints of summer…
You’ll start digging for those berries like they’re buried treasure.
(Which they are so…it makes sense)
Blink and it’s gone!
Balsamic Strawberry Rice Pudding
Recipe adapted from Strawberry Jam Coconut Rice Pudding
For the pudding:
1 cup sweet brown rice (a sticky rice with a flavor I love…you can really use whatever you want)
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
extra coconut milk (I used a whole cup more)
For the reduction:
8 oz strawberries, preferably a little past ripe
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (or more to taste)
1. In a medium saucepan, bring rice, water, coconut milk, zest, sugar and salt to a boil. Give it a stir, turn the heat way down to low, cover and leave it alone. Cook until the rice completely absorbs the liquid and becomes creamy. Depending on the type of rice you use, times will vary. Mine took a solid hour (listen…good things come to those who wait). It will be creamy and a deep caramel color (if you use the rice I used).
2. Remove the rice from heat and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. At this point you can add more coconut milk if you want. The longer the rice sits the more it will absorb so you can add more later, too.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix the strawberries, sugar, water and balsamic vinegar. You can dice the strawberries if you want more of a sauce but I like the chunks of strawberry so I left them mostly whole. (Huge guys got halved). Let the mixture cook down, stirring occasionally, until you have chunks of strawberry in a thick syrup. For me, this took about 20 minutes
4. Top a serving of rice putting with a couple of strawberry chunks in their syrup. Drizzle some extra balsamic on top and enjoy!
This stuff it just as good cold. Trust.
Also, fun fact: If you happen to have leftover rice already cooked, it is fair game for this recipe! Shorten the cook time significantly and use less coconut milk but it can be done. Or check here for a delicious looking recipe starting with cooked rice. Thanks, Mama B!