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My go-to Ottolenghi baked rice with confit tomatoes and garlic

I am a huge Ottolenghi fan. And his baked rice with confit tomatoes and garlic is my go-to rice dish when I am cooking for a crowd. You just leave it in the oven to work its magic. There's no stirring, no sticking, no fuss. And you're left with perfect rice every time. I am also a fan of confit cooking veggies. It makes them tender, juicy and super tasty. And this recipe is all of that!

Serves 6 as a side

800g cherry tomatoes

12 large garlic cloves, peeled (it will be worth it!)

4 banana shallots, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces

25g coriander roughly chopped

10g picked thyme leaves

4 small cinnamon sticks

100ml olive oil

300g basmati rice

600ml boiling water

salt and black pepper

  • Preheat your oven to 160ºC fan.

  • Place the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, herbs and cinnamon sticks in a large high-sided casserole dish.Ottolenghi recommends a 20 x 30cm dish. I use a 25 x 45cm enamel casserole dish, and it works perfectly.

  • Pour over the olive oil, along with 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and a good pinch of ground black pepper. Don't worry that the olive oil is too much. It adds to the sauce the rice will soak up.

  • Place in the oven for 1 hour. The vegetables will be soft and smell really good.

  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle the rice evenly over the cooked vegetables. Don't stir them together. That's the important bit! Set aside.

  • Increase your oven temperature to 220ºC fan.

  • Sprinkle another 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and a good pinch of ground black pepper over the rice. Then carefully pour the boiling water over the rice.

  • Seal the dish tightly with foil. Make sure the foil is properly sealed and no air can escape from the rice. Place in the oven for 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked.

  • Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes, still covered.

  • Remove the foil. Take out the cinnamon sticks and gently stir in the coriander leaves.

  • Serve warm along with a harissa-roasted cauliflower or creamy mushroom curry. So yummy!

Ottolenghi baked rice
Baked rice with confit tomatoes and garlic. Image courtesy of Ottolenghi.

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