This baked rice dish tastes so incredible. It's an update of a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi and once you've tried it, you'll make it time and time again. The slow roasted tomatoes, garlic and shallots become so tender that they melt into the rice giving it great flavor and texture.
Plus it's an easy dish to make and lends itself to many variations. I sometime add add pitted olives, roasted peppers, or capers, depending on what I'm serving it with. Or you can add shredded chicken or tofu to make it a meal!
Rice: Basmati rice if fragrant with a lovely nutty flavor that works well with the flavors in the dish, but you could also use Jasmine or regular long-grain rice. Basmati is used in Indian and Pakistani cooking, so look for the best quality imported rice you can find and afford. I like Tilda, but there are several other good quality brands available.
Tomatoes: The better the flavor of the tomatoes, the better the dish will taste, so buying from a farmers' market, farm-stand or in-store organic are some good options.
Garlic: The recipe uses a whole heard of garlic (that's not a typo!), or about 12 cloves. If the cloves are large halve them. Use a fresh head of garlic here if you can.
Shallots: Shallots have a mild, sweet flavor with some sharpness, but they are not as intense in heat as onions. I like to say that their flavor lies in between that of onion and garlic.
Cinnamon stick: Don't omit these, as the cinnamon sticks add a lot of subtle flavor to the rice. If all you have are long sticks, you can cut them with kitchen shears. If you don't have cinnamon sticks, toss the vegetable with ¼ tsp. of ground cinnamon before roasting.
How to make the recipe
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, thyme, cardamom, and cinnamon sticks in a 8 x 12 inch baking dish. Add the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Toss to coat vegetables. (A) Roast for 1 hour, until the vegetables are tender. (B)
2. Remove the pan from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 450°F. Do not stir the vegetables, leave them as is. Scatter the rice evenly over the undisturbed vegetables (C) then carefully pour the broth over the rice. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and more pepper to taste.
3. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat the rice in the oven. Sprinkle a little a water over the rice, cover with foit and bake at 300°F for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- This dish is very versatile and you can add and substitute other ingredients to it such as pitted olives, capers, chopped roasted red bell pepper, and herbs such as tarragon and dill. Other vegetables can also be uses, like zucchini, summer squash and eggplant. If you are considering adding or substituting vegetables, be sure to choose those that will become very soft and tender when roasting.
It's important to slow-roast the vegetables for this dish and that can't be done on the stove-top.
The flavor and aroma of basmati rice works well in this dish, but you can also use Jasmine or plain long-grain rice
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Baked Rice with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shallots
- 1 lb. cherry or grape tomates
- 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and halved
- 6 medium shallots, quartered and cut into 1-pieces
- 2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
- 4 small cinnamon sticks (3 to 4 inches in length)
- ¼ tps. ground cardamom (optional)
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups basmati rice
- 2½ cups chicken or vegetable broth, or water
- ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, thyme, cardamom, and cinnamon sticks in a 8 x 12 inch baking dish. Add the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Toss to coat vegetables. Roast for 1 hour, until the vegetables are tender. Remove the pan from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 450°F
- Do not stir. Scatter the rice evenly over the undisturbed vegetables, then carefully pour the broth over the rice. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and more pepper to taste.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve.