Rice Pudding Recipes: Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) Adds a Twist

| 2/20/2009 5:07:13 PM



On a somewhat regular basis we have potlucks here in the office, to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, special events and sometimes for no apparent reason.

This week it was birthdays and I had a plan. For our April/May issue we've been editing an article on "Seven Shade-Loving Herbs," one of which happens to be spicebush (Lindera benzoin). We found some dried spiceberries for our photo shoot (wait 'til you read the recipe for Spicebush Ice Cream. Mmmmm...) and we had plenty leftover for another use.

Photo by PIWO/Courtesy flickr

I have been wanting for a while to make a rice pudding with some great short-grained brown rice I've discovered. It is satisfyingly chewy and substantial, and I thought it deserved more of a repertoire than just my usual "steamed, with soy sauce and a little olive oil, please."

So I concocted a rice pudding recipe in my head and prepared it for our potluck. Only Allison Martin, our associate editor, guessed that the secret ingredient was spicebush berries – and that's probably because I provide hints broad enough to drive a truck through. "It's something we mentioned in a recent' Herb Companion article." "It was in one of the gardening articles..." Smart woman that she is, she didn't even look up from her computer as she called out "Spicebush!"