This is one of my absolute favourite dinner recipes at the moment – it’s fairly cheap, it’s incredibly easy (you just mix it all together and shove in the oven to do it’s ~thang~) and if you can believe it, it’s gluten-free and vegan.
I got the original baked rice recipe from an old vegetarian-special Sainsbury’s magazine and have tweaked it to make it work better for us.
What: A rice bake which is exactly like a pasta bake but with rice.
Best for: A very comforting weekday dinner.
Realistically how long: All in, probably an hour, but it’s very low-maintenance.
Feeds: Three good-sized portion.
300g risotto rice
1 x pack of cherry tomatoes (fancy vine ones or cheapo ones will work)
1 x jar of artichoke hearts (found in the olive/antipasti section)
1 x big handful of mixed olives
1 x litre vegetable stock
3 x cloves of garlic
1 x lemon
2 x tbsp harissa paste or sundried tomato paste
Hot sauce to serve
Sour cream to serve
Avocado to serve
Feta to serve
1. Preheat your oven to around 180 degrees and put a large saucepan or frying pan on a medium heat on the hob.
2. Start by adding the artichokes to the pan (I add them one by one to avoid the entire jar of olive oil they’re preserved in, going in), and then crush in your garlic cloves.
3. Assess whether you need more olive oil (probably no) and then add in your tomatoes and olives whole.
4. Put the kettle on to boil for the stock.
5. Stir the content of the pan, and then add your risotto rice.
6. Stir for a minute or so and then add your one litre of vegetable stock.
7. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. (Now is the time to add your harissa paste/sundried tomato paste if using – just adds extra flavour).
8. Transfer contents of pan to an ovenproof casserole dish (and if using, quarter a lemon lengthways and place evenly spaced on top of the mixture).
9. Oven cook for 30-40 minutes, until almost all of the stock has been absorbed.
10. Remove from oven and leave to rest for five minutes before SERVING.
11. Can be topped with hot sauce or sour cream or avocado or feta or all of the above or none of the above. It can be as fancy or as low-key as you like.
Note: This recipe can also be adjusted to include whichever other vegetables you fancy, or could also be served as a side with chicken.