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Simple, Tasty, Vegan Spanish Rice for Burritos
Last week's vegan chipotle sauce was the the first step of a larger project to learn how to make my favourite rice and bean burrito at home. Spanish rice is another essential ingredient of this magical burrito (which also includes black beans and lots of fresh veggies like purple onion, corn, red pepper, lettuce and tomato, along with a generous dollop of mashed avocado and some fresh cilantro). As I'm writing this, I've started craving this burrito of course, but getting all the ingredients together in the same place is a bit of a project. Having done it a couple of times, I have huge respect for the people doing it on a daily basis (conveniently located at the end of my street). Maybe I'll pay them a visit tonight. They're lovely. For now though, I'm going to focus on Spanish rice.
This is a really simple recipe that can be made somewhat in advance. (For me, the tricky thing if I do make it in advance is having enough of it left for burritos because it's way too easy to heat up a bowlfull for a snack.) The good news is that a little rice goes a long way in a burrito and there's usually a whole lot leftover for serving on the side. There's something magical about the combination of onion, garlic, tomato and lime. I've purposely stayed away from the cumin that you often see in recipes—I find it overpowering. And to be honest I don't think it needs it. I find this rice more flavourful than many I've tried in restaurants. No idea why, but I don't need to know why. I'm going to keep making it and serving it whenever I can. Hope you enjoy it.
2 cups of your favourite rice (I used jasmine)
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbl olive oil
1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium sized onion)
5 cloves garlic, minced with a little salt
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbl lime juice
optional cilantro to taste, finely chopped (For burritos, I leave the cilantro out because there will be cilantro leaves as part of the burrito itself. As a sidedish though, I add lots of chopped green deliciousness at the very end.)
Make the rice in the water with the salt. (Every stove is a little different, but I mix rice, water and salt together in a large pot with a lid, then cover the pot before turning the stove on high for 7 minutes. Then, without taking off the lid, I turn the heat down to simmer and let it cook for 11 minutes. After the time is up, I turn off the heat, gently fluff the rice with a fork, and put the lid back on to let it finish cooking for about 5 minutes using just the heat in the pot. These times are probably specific to my stove, and definitely specific to the amount of rice I'm cooking, but I wanted to describe it for completeness. Do whatever works for you to get the rice cooked.)
While the rice is cooking, heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and prep the onion.
Add the onion to the frying pan and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until fairly soft.
Add the minced garlic and stir it up for a minute or so, until just fragrant.
Reduce heat to medium-low, then add the tomato paste and lime juice and mix very well.
Add the rice and mix everything together until all the rice is the same colour.
I find that the rice responds well to a few more minutes of low-heat cooking, covered if possible, just to absorb the flavours.
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Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016