Baked Rice With White Beans, Leeks and Lemon
Baking is a fail-safe, hands-off method for making perfect rice every time. Add roasted leeks, lemon peel, almonds and white beans, and it becomes a company-worthy vegetarian dinner inspired by prasorizo, the classic Greek rice-and-leek dish. Finished with Parmesan and fresh herbs, it's an excellent one-pan meal, but it would also be great served alongside grilled fish, shrimp or chicken. If you like, you can make it even more filling by adding other vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini or broccoli florets with the leeks and almonds, or stir in spinach, arugula or sliced snap peas after it comes out of the oven in Step 4. Omit the Parmesan and it’s vegan, too.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4leeks (about 2 pounds), trimmed, white and pale green parts sliced 1/4-inch thick
- ¼cup raw almonds
- ½teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 5tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 ½cups uncooked basmati rice
- 1(15-ounce) can white beans (such as cannellini or great Northern), rinsed
- 2 ½cups boiling water
- ½cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- ¼cup thinly sliced or chopped basil, chives, mint or fennel fronds, plus more for serving
Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the leeks until they’re clean, then shake or pat dry. Using a vegetable peeler, peel 1-inch-thick strips of lemon zest, then cut the lemon in half. Cut one half into four wedges and reserve the other half.
Step 2In a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, combine the leeks, lemon zest strips, almonds, red-pepper flakes and olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, and arrange in an even layer. Roast until the leeks start to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
Step 3Finely chop the lemon zest strips, then stir it back into the leek mixture and arrange in an even layer. Sprinkle the rice evenly over the leeks, then top with the beans and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the boiling water, then seal the pan tightly with foil. Bake until the rice is tender, 20 to 22 minutes.
Step 4Remove from the oven, and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Squeeze the lemon half over the rice, then stir in Parmesan and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges, and more Parmesan and herbs, as desired.