You don’t have to like rice to LOVE rice pudding!

by Sava

The Greek word for rice pudding is “Rizogalo” which literally means “rice milk”. This is a very traditional dessert in Greece, but is not as well known as baklava or some other sweets we have. I believe some version of this is found in many other ethnicities, as well. I have a friend who is Danish and she makes a wonderful rice pudding for Christmas Eve with a sour cherry compote to put over it. The beauty of this dessert is you can serve it ‘as is’ for a comfort-food-kind-of dessert, or fancy it up a little with fresh strawberries or blueberries. Maybe even chopped nuts would be yummy! It is not real sweet and very light. Anyway, my sister made it tonight for our dessert since we had not had it for a very long time and it took us right back to our childhood in our warm and fragrant kitchen on Berkeley Street. Lovely memories there…

Rice Pudding (right out of our cookbook)         Serves 8-10

1 1/2 c boiling water                                                1 c sugar

1/2 c short-grain white rice                                  1 strip of lemon or orange peel

1/4 t salt                                                                        1 T vanilla

7 1/2 c milk                                                                 Ground cinnamon

4 T cornstarch

Wash rice and drain. In a large saucepan add rice and salt to boiling water, stir, cover and cook slowly until most of the water is absorbed. Add the milk, stir and simmer for about 20 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water and gradually add it to the rice mixture along with the sugar and citrus peel. Stir constantly over medium heat until pudding turns thick and creamy, about 15 more minutes, making sure the rice is thoroughly soft. Remove the lemon or orange peel and stir in vanilla. Pour into individual bowls and sprinkle generously with cinnamon. You can serve it warm or cold.

It was delicious tonight, but I can’t wait till morning to have it for breakfast with a cup of coffee! What? Why not? Kinda like oatmeal or cream of wheat… right?? Maybe you want to pour a bit of honey or maple syrup on it … seriously! I know you want to try it…

See you next time!!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Georgia Cone March 1, 2012 at 10:34 am

Yes!
Mom”s Rizogalo , waiting in little crystal cups ,the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla beckoning me to taste that first sweet spoonful!. I remember Dad, true to his Greek heritage and in honor of his mother,our Nona,,included this desert on the menu of his mostly American restaurant, Sardy’s, in Nashua ,NH.
Kali orexi! Enjoy!

Martha Bucknam Brogan March 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Your house on Berkeley St always smelled wonderful!

Dan March 2, 2012 at 6:55 am

Such a tasty treat to have. I really enjoyed it last night and took small spoonfulls to make it last longer! Comfort food for sure.

Bruce ballard March 2, 2012 at 8:32 am

I lived outside of Athens for 2 yeqars and at the end of my first, I went to Rhodes with some friends for a week long vacation. At the end of a hard day at the beach we would treat ourselves to Rizogalo….sprinlkled with cinnamon…I got addicted and had to go to RA (Riz. Anonymous) classes for 6 months. It’s that good. Do yourself a favor and make this….but consume responsibly.

Sava March 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Yes, Jo, those little crystal cups made it seem even more special than just an ordinary after dinner dessert! Rice pudding can look quite elegant in long stemmed wine glasses, too! It’s the little things that can make it look like more than it is! Be creative! Yassou!!

Sava March 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Martha, how nice that you remember that. It was such a “hug” of a house! Loved it. Thanks for the lovely comment. Yassou!

Sava March 2, 2012 at 10:02 pm

You are so good at savoring, Dan… even when it is hard not to gobble it up! Yassou!

Sava March 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Brucie, as usual, you make me laugh! By all means consume responsibly! Does the Comas family really know how to do that? We should take a lesson from Dan…learn to savor…make it last….(Not that he always does that. He’s usually done with dinner before everyone else!) Thanks so much for the comment. Yassou!

Trio March 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Just saw this! Still make this for Yiayia.

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