A couple years ago I stumbled on this recipe for “False Mahshi: Layered Swiss Chard, Beets, Rice, and Beef” in the New York Times. In an article about the Iraqi New Year, Joan Nathan had included this recipe, adapted from Esperanza Basson. Well, even that seemed a bit labor intensive so I cut it down into a super simple, healthy, and yummy version.
1 cup rice
6 Tbls olive or vegetable oil
2 medium white or yellow onions diced
1 bunch or 2 large beets grated
1 bunch of greens chopped (like Swiss chard or kale)
4 Tbls of dried mint
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 Tbls salt
optional: 1 lb meat like smoked sausage, rib eye, chicken, and such, just cook on the side.
Cook rice separately, 2 cups water to 1 cup rice.
In a wok or large pan, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil.
Once translucent, add the beats and salt and simmer about 5 minutes.
If you want to add meat, this is a good time to do it too. A super simple meat to use is premade smoked beef sausage. I cut it into cubes and toss it in.
Add the rest of the ingredients, stir occasionally, and let simmer till greens are wilted, about 15 minutes.
Once rice is done, add to mixture and stir.
Voila!, a healthy, Middle Eastern style casserole that also works well for leftovers.