Baked Vegetable Rice
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil (I used far less – about 4 tablespoons)
3 tomatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 large pinches of saffron
2 cups short grain rice, ideally Bomba
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup favas (about 1 pound), out of pods and peeled
1/2 cup fresh English peas (about 8 ounces), shelled
1 cup asparagus (about 10 spears), cut into about 2-inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 piquillo peppers for garnish, thinly sliced
1. In a large, heavy, ovenproof casserole, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil very slowly over low heat until tender and golden but not browned.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half and grate them by pressing the fleshy side against the medium holes of a box grater. Discard the skins. After the onions are tender, add the grated tomato and saffron and cook slowly for 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains. Add the white wine, stock, favas, peas, asparagus and salt.
4. Bring the rice mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the stove top and bake, uncovered, until stock is absorbed and rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Decorate with the piquillo pepper slices and serve with lemon wedges.
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