When I am in the mood for a side dish that seems like much more, this rice is frequently the answer. Although I’ve written it as a recipe, the truth is that I never measure the ingredients. And the ingredients are rarely the same twice because I use whatever vegetables I have around. The real secret is in the method of preparation.
Although I used to make rice without washing it beforehand and I always covered it during cooking, ever since I joined Wok Wednesdays, I have changed my ways. Now I follow Grace Young‘s method; she recommends washing it several times, until the water runs clear, then adding liquid to about an inch above the rice and boiling it uncovered until the water is almost gone, then lowering the light and covering it for few minutes, finally letting it rest, covered for another few minutes. Dubious at first, I’m now a convert. I’ve been using this method exclusively for almost a year and haven’t had a bad batch of rice yet.
Easy and Addictive Rice with Vegetables
Servings – 3-4 (about 3 cups cooked rice) Cost – $2
- ¾ cup long grain rice
- Approximately ¾ cup diced “hard” fresh vegetables (e.g. onion, pepper, celery)
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Approximately 1½ cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
- Optional (not pictured) – parsley, chives, and or other herbs
- Cutting board
- Pot with cover
- Wooden spoon
- Bowl (for washing rice)
- Rinse the rice several times in water, swooshing and draining each time until the water runs just about clear. Set aside.
- Dice the vegetables into small pieces, preferably not too much bigger than fully cooked grains of rice.
- Heat the olive oil in the pan under a medium high heat.
- Add the diced vegetables to the pot and sauté them approximately 5-8 minutes until softened, stirring reasonably frequently so that they do not burn. (You may need to lower the heat.) Add salt and pepper if your broth is not well seasoned.
- Once the vegetables are soft, add the rice and mix them until well blended.
- Add enough room temperature broth so that the broth is about 1” over the rice. This is about 1½ cups, but there is no need to be persnickety about the precise amount of liquid. Bring the broth/rice/vegetable mixture to a rolling boil.
- Turn down the heat if necessary and continue boiling until the broth is no longer visible above the rice, about 15-20 minutes.
- Cover the pot, lower the heat, and cook for 5 minutes longer. After that period, turn off the heat and let the pot sit, covered for 5-10 additional minutes.