CHRISTMAS RICE   
  Ingredients :
    cup olive oil
    6 thin bacon strips
    1 onion, finely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    3 cups rice
    Salt
    Pepper
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    cup toasted almonds, chopped
    cup dried apricots, chopped
    2 cups spinach leaves, cut in thin julienne
    1 red pepper, seeded and deveined, chopped
    Sage leaves

    Balsamic Syrup:
    6 tablespoons sugar
    6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    Salt
    Pepper
    3 sage leaves, chopped

  Preparation:

Heat oil in a large saucepan and add bacon and onion. Cook until onion is transparent and bacon starts to brown. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add rice and stir to coat. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Pour hot water and stir. Lower heat and cook, covered, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Once rice is cooked, add toasted almonds, chopped apricots, spinach, the red pepper and combine.

Transfer rice to a lightly greased tube pan. Invert pan onto a serving dish.
Decorate with dried apricots and sage leaves.
Drizzle over with balsamic syrup.

Balsamic Syrup:
Melt sugar in a small skillet and add balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and sage. Drizzle over rice.
 
        8 servings
       
 
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