The Green Grocer: ‘Twas the Wednesday before Christmas



‘Twas the Wednesday before Christmas, when all through the Post
Readers looked for the Green Grocer to get tips for their roast.
(Local meat is the key, if you really do care
To impress all the guests, who will soon be there.)
Recipes were flagged in cookbooks with care,
In hopes that ingredients would magically appear.
Alas, trips to the co-op were taken with glee,
First one trip, then two, and eventually three.
When finally the children were all snug in their beds
With thoughts of fair-trade chocolate filling their heads,
The chopping and dicing and mincing began,
Then mixing and kneading and greasing the pan.
Meanwhile in my kitchen there arose such a clatter,
I looked up from my cooking to see what was the matter.
Away to the oven I flew like a flash,
Fearing the cinnamon rolls were the source of the crash.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a mighty chef with a sack full of cookware!
Her eyes were so merry, her cheeks were so bright,
I knew right away it was nothing of fright.
She spoke not a word, but went straight to the pie,
Took a big bite, and let out a nice sigh.
Then she stirred my sauce, and salted it too
Before turning her attention to the slow-cooking roux.
After one final whiff of my culinary work,
She set down the whisk and turned with a jerk.
With a great poof of flour, she vanished from sight,
Calling, “A delicious Christmas to all, and a flavorful night!”

By Robin Asbell for

Chef Robin Asbell describes the following recipe as “a traditional Danish rice pudding, accented with a hefty handful of crunchy almonds. The tender, creamy rice is lightened with whipped cream, making a luscious, satisfying dessert. This is lightly sweetened, allowing the flavors of the almonds and cream to shine.”

Total time:
Four hours; one hour active



• 1 cup arborio rice
• 1/2 cup water
• 4 cups whole milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup slivered almonds, chopped
• 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
• 1 1/2 cups cream
• 1 cup pomegranate seeds


In a four-quart sauce pan, add the rice, water, milk and vanilla. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Stir every five minutes for about 30 minutes, until the rice is creamy and thickened, but not too stiff. Stir in the almonds and chill the rice pudding until cold, at least three hours.


To serve, combine the cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer, and whip until it reaches firm peak. When you can pull the beaters out of the cream and the mounds of whipped cream hold their shape, it is ready. Fold the whipped cream into the cold rice mixture and then divide between eight one-cup ramekins or small bowls. Top each bowl with two tablespoons pomegranate seeds and serve.


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