Baked rice is a dish that can be served as a side dish or a main dish. You can add extra veggies to the mix if desired–broccoli, carrots, peppers, snap peas come to mind. You can change up the type of nuts, beans and cheese to suit your tastebuds or to use what you have available in your pantry. I enjoy serving this with fish or chicken. But it works with any protein and as a completely vegetarian dish. This is a wonderful dish to bring to a potluck. It’s also good served at room temperature if you want to bring it to a picnic. Leftovers the next day are delicious too. It’s simple, delicious and worth adding to your rotation of quick meals. Enjoy!
Baked Rice With White Beans, Leeks and Lemon
- 4 leeks (about 2 pounds), trimmed, white and pale green parts sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 lemon
- ¼ cup sliced almonds (pecans, walnuts, pine nuts will work too.)
- ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 ½ cups uncooked basmati rice
- 2 (15-ounce) can of white beans (such as cannellini or great northern), rinsed
- 2 ½ cups boiling water
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving (Feta would be a good substitution)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced or chopped basil, chives, mint or fennel fronds, plus more for serving
Preheat the oven to 400. Rinse the leeks really well, pat them dry, and slice. Peel 1-inch lemon strips off an entire lemon. Keep the lemon for later.
Toss the leeks, lemon strips, red pepper flakes, almonds, and olive oil in a 9×13 roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until you see the leeks begin to caramelize.
Remove the lemon strips and finally chop them, then return to the pan. Sprinkle the chopped lemon evenly over the rice, then pour the beans evenly over the rice. Finally, pour the boiling water over the rice, seal with tin foil. Bake for another 20-22 minutes.
Take the pan out. Let it stay covered for about 5 minutes. Take off the tin foil, add the parmesan cheese, toss and then toss mixed chopped herbs over the top or mix in.
— By Deborah Binder
Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share her experiments with her family and friends. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and freelances around town for local chefs. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at email@example.com.