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Red Rice with Roasted Fennel + Apricots

July 6, 2014     Views 966     Grabbed 1     Grab    

Red Rice with Roasted Fennel + Apricots

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Red Rice with Roasted Fennel, Red Onion and Apricots
Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi's Red Rice and Quinoa

Serve as an accompaniment to a protein, or over a heap of leafy greens for a lighter one-bowl meal.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

1 cup red rice, soaked for 6 to 8 hours in water to cover, rinsed and drained (see note)
1-1/4 cups water
1 fennel bulb (about 1/2 pound), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons + 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
grated zest + juice of 1 lemon
1 small garlic clove, grated or crushed (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (to taste)
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400F.

1. Combine rice and water in a medium pot. Add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover pot. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender but not mushy, 35 to 40 minutes. Gently fluff rice with a fork and keep covered until ready to use.

2. Combine fennel, onion, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and a big pinch of salt in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Transfer vegetables to a sheet tray and roast at 400F until tender and caramelized around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

3. Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, and chile flakes in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

4. Transfer rice and fennel-onion mixture to bowl with vinaigrette. Add apricots, walnuts, scallions, and cilantro; toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, if needed. Serve warm.

Note: Soaking the rice shortens cooking time and, in general, increases the digestibility of whole grains, as well as making the minerals they contain easier to absorb. If you do not have time for a soak, give the rice a good rinse in cold water and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer than noted in step 1, above.

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