Even though it’s the simplest of foods, for some reason cooking rice is a bit of an art, which can put a lot of people off making the stuff. But whether you’re wary of it or you’re looking to zhuzh up your plain boiled basmati, it’s time to introduce some nice rice to your life. The Rice Association has celebrated National Rice Week (13th-19th September, but you knew that already) by pulling together ricey recipes from a host of leading chefs.
You’ll find the full range of recipes on the Rice Association website, but the one that caught our eye was the baked Mexican rice with beans and greens, topped with a mango salsa, from Niki Webster at Rebel Recipes. It’s full of veg and beans, and pretty easy to prepare – anytime you see “combine all the ingredients” near the start of a recipe you know you’re in for a relatively easy ride. It also cooks the rice in the oven which, in our experience at least, is the most foolproof way of getting rice right.
Ingredients (Serves Four)
For the rice
- 650ml vegetable stock (or boiling water)
- 250g long grain rice, rinsed well
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 40g greens (eg asparagus/broccoli/spring greens), chopped
- 3 spring onions, sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the tomato sauce
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1tbsp smoked paprika
- ½tsp chilli powder or chipotle powder
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp oregano
- 5 tomatoes, chopped
- 3tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
For the mango salsa
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced into cubes
- Fresh coriander and mint, shredded
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch of sea salt flakes and chilli flakes
- Preheat the oven to 180℃/gas 4. Combine all the rice ingredients in a casserole dish and stir. Cover tightly with foil, then bake for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, fry the onion in the olive oil on a medium heat for eight minutes.
- Add the garlic and spices and stir to combine. Add the chopped tomatoes and sun-dried tomato paste and simmer for six minutes until the tomatoes have started to break down.
- Remove the rice from the oven and add the tomato mix to the rice. Stir to combine, then bake for a further 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Make the salsa by adding all the ingredients to a bowl and mixing to combine. Serve with the baked rice.