Rice with Roasted Tomatoes

I recently had what I think (or hope?) is a common if less-than-perfect food experience. Namely, I really wanted to make this one dish that, left to my own devices, I normally wouldn’t make. I only had half the ingredients, though. Simple fix. I went to the grocery store, and bought the rest of the ingredients. It was only when I got home and started cooking that I realized I actually didn’t have ANY of the ingredients I thought I already had. So now I’ve started the cooking process still with only half the ingredients needed for the dish of my daydreams, and it was too late and I was too tired to go back to the grocery store. So, I improvised.

Originally the dish I had wanted to make was this:

I don't care if you're a carnivore--this looks good.
I don’t care if you’re a carnivore–this looks good.

This comes from one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve ever seen in my life: Plenty. The picture kinda gives it all away. This dish had lentils, roasted tomatoes, pickled onion, garlic, thyme, and a light bleu cheese. Only problem was that 15 minutes into roasting my tomatoes I discovered I had no lentils, and no bleu cheese. So, I ended up using brown rice and goat cheese instead.

Retrospectively, I think the original is more flexible in the sense that lentils and bleu cheese are “substantial” enough that the meal could work equally as well as an entree, or as a side for a bunch of people. Using rice and goat cheese makes it more difficult to have as an entree; however, it still is really tasty and does work well as a side. It also reheats well and is a pretty tasty lunch.

One last note: I know faster is NOT necessarily better with food, but I’ve got to find more efficient ways of roasting vegetables. I followed Ottolenghi’s rules to a tee, but this time it resulted in taking 75-90 minutes to roast about a pound of tomatoes. Which is just wrong on so many levels. Granted, they taste fantastic, so maybe there’s no getting around that, but it does seem a bit ridiculous time-wise.

RICE WITH ROASTED TOMATOES

INGREDIENTS:

  • Half a cup of rice
  • One clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Approx. 1 pound of tomatoes
  • Approx 1/3 of a medium-sized red onion, finely chopped
  • Thyme sprigs
  • Approx. 2 ounces goat cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the rice. If you don’t know how to do that:
    1. Put a 2:1 ratio of liquid to rice in a pot. Bring it to a boil.
    2. Once it’s boiling, put it on simmer, put a lid on the pot, and (depending upon your stove) in 25-40 minutes you’ll have rice.
  2. Roast the tomatoes. For that:
    1. Preheat your oven to 275*F.
    2. Cut the tomatoes into large bite-sized pieces. Toss them in olive oil and balsamic.
    3. Place the whole mixture on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
    4. Top with fresh thyme sprigs, and place in the oven.

      Pre-oven
      Pre-oven
    5. Depending upon your oven and your patience, in 75-90 minutes, you’ll have roasted tomatoes.

      For those who can tell...post-oven.
      For those who can tell…post-oven.
  3. While the tomatoes and rice and cooking, chop the onion. Place it in a bowl with some red wine vinegar, and let that soak.
    IMGP3962
  4. When the rice is done, add the onions with vinegar, and a garlic clove. Season well.
    IMGP3966
  5. When the tomatoes are done roasting, remove (but keep!) the thyme. Place the tomatoes without roasting liquid into the rice mixture.
    IMGP3969
  6. To serve, top with goat cheese and the roasted thyme.
    IMGP3970
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