OMG Ottolenghi's Baked Rice w/ Tomatoes & Cinnamon
You know I am a big fan of Yotam Ottolenghi and have gone to every one of his book signings and dinners.
Not only is he a super nice guy, but his recipes are fantastic, most of them stemming from his Middle Eastern roots, having been born in Israel.
His newest book SIMPLE is pretty fabulous, and now I have all of his books in my kitchen (NOPI being my least favorite, and JERUSALEM still being my very favorite).
If I were being honest, and I always am when it comes to food............this could be my favorite rice dish of all time.
I love baking rice vs. stove-top cooking.
No stirring and no sticking. Perfect rice every time.
You most likely have all the ingredients to make this, so I suggest you do.
Your kitchen will smell divine.
I served this along side a roast chicken, but it's great on its own as a vegetarian dinner too.
It makes enough for 6 people as a side dish.
Baked Rice w/ Tomatoes, Cinnamon & Garlic Confit (adapted from Ottolenghi's SIMPLE)
about a l lb. of cherry tomatoes (kept whole)
4 large shallots, peeled and cut in half
12 cloves garlic
4 cinnamon sticks
bunch of cilantro stems (save the leaves for garnish)
1 1/2 cups of basmati rice
2 1/2 cups of boiling water
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350F.
Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of an 8" x 13" casserole dish. A Pyrex dish would work well.
Lay the tomatoes, shallots, whole garlic cloves, cilantro stems and cinnamon sticks in the pan and season with kosher salt. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. You don't have to stir the pan at all.
Bake uncovered 45-55 minutes, until your tomatoes and shallots are soft and starting to brown.
Remove from the oven and turn the temperature up to 425F (the recipe calls for 450F, but that's usually too high for my hot oven).
Without disturbing the tomato mixture, pour the 1 1/2 cups of basmati rice on top of the ingredients in the casserole.
Season again with salt & pepper (I like kosher salt).
Carefully pour 2 1/2 cups of boiling water over the rice and cover the entire pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake in the 425F oven, covered, for 25 minutes exactly.
Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes covered.
DO NOT REMOVE THE FOIL. The rice will continue to steam and be perfect. I promise.
Carefully and slowly remove the foil after the resting period (remember, there is hot steam).
The tomatoes and cinnamon sticks and all that confit of garlic and shallots will be mixed in during the baking process.
I did not stir the pan at all.
Garnish with fresh cilantro just before serving.
This is heavenly rice!
Loved it. I could eat the whole pan myself!