This is one of my favorite recipes, but I don't make it very often because of the variety of cans of stuff required. I adapted it from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden, mainly by upping my favorite ingredients and making others optional.
- 1 lb. long-grain rice
- 6 T. olive oil
- 4 T. white wine vinegar
- 16 black olives
- 3 T. capers
- a small or medium jar of quartered marinated artichoke hearts
- 1 or 2 2 oz. cans of anchovies, chopped
- 1 or 2 small cans of tuna, preferably preserved in oil, flaked (optional)
- 16 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved if large
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the rice as usual but in extra water, then drain. Dress with liquids and spices while hot. Mix in remaining ingredients. Serve hot or cold.
This one is also adapted from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden.
6 bell peppers
1 large onion, diced
6 T. olive oil, divided
1 1/4 c. Arborio rice
2 c. water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. allspice (optional)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground clove (optional)
3 T. pine nuts
1/4 c. raisins or currants
1 large tomato, chopped, or 1 T. tomato paste
2 tsp. mint
3 T. fresh dill or parsley, chopped
2-3 T. lemon juice
Fry the onion in half the oil. Add the rice and fry to transparency as in risotto. Add water, sugar, and dried spices (except mint). Cook covered for 15 minutes. (Rice will be underdone.) Meanwhile, cut the caps off the bell peppers (keeping them) and clean out the peppers. Set peppers aside.
Take the rice off the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients. Fill the peppers with the stuffing, replace the caps, and arrange them upright in a baking dish. Put a scant inch of water in the bottom of the dish and bake at 375° for 45-55 minutes.
Roz bil Shaghria
This is an Arab recipe from Claudia Roden; it's just rice dressed up with some toasted vermicelli. American vermicelli is about halfway between spaghetti and capellini (angel hair); Italian vermicelli is thicker than spaghetti. I have no idea what size shaghria (a.k.a. she'reya) is, but it's a forgiving recipe so just use whatever you have around. Onion is a common additions, but I don't use it here.
- 1/2 c. vermicelli
- 2 T. sunflower or canola oil
- 1 1/4 c. basmati or other long-grain rice
- 3 c. water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. saffron or turmeric (technically optional)
Break up the vermicelli to desired size. (It's supposed to be an inch but I prefer them longer.) Toast them in a dry frying pan or in the oven, stirring frequently. Set aside.
Fry the rice in the oil as for risotto. Add the toasted vermicelli and remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest five minutes. Serve hot.
Risotto is more a style than a recipe; I have a favorite risotto style that I made up myself. If you don't know what you're doing, though, I suggest starting with a basic mushroom & cheese risotto recipe (not included), instead of the no-cheese options below. Do not substitute anything American for the rice unless you know it works; use Italian arborio rice.
You also need a good pan: either enameled cast iron or a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan works best. If you don't have one, you had better know what you're doing. My risotto pan is a somewhat wok-shaped enameled pan from Mario Batali that works well (but that I don't think they make anymore)--you can see it in some of the pasta pictures.
You don't have to use fresh stock; I have used cubes as well as some nice organic powdered stocks. Better Than Boullion is also good.
This is a basic no-cheese risotto from Claudia Roden, which I cut down by a third.
- 1 c. Arborio rice
- 2 T. olive oil
- 2 2/3 c. chicken stock
- 1/3 c. white wine
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 tsp. saffron (powder or threads)
- extras: mushrooms fried in some garlic
Start the stock boiling in a small pot on another burner.
In your good risotto pan, fry the rice in the oil until (somewhat) transparent. Rather than the eternal night of the risotto (see the next recipe), you can cheat and add all the liquid at once. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, adding the saffron (and optional mushrooms) late but while there's still liquid to dissolve it.
I like this one because it can be anything you want it to be: vegan, fowly, cheesy, etc. Tempeh holds up to cooking the whole time (most risotto ingredients need to be added late in the process), and if it happens to fall apart then it looks just like the rest of the risotto and nobody knows. You can toss extra stuff into this recipe, too.
- olive oil
- 1 large leek, medium shallot, or small onion, chopped
- 1-3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced (optional)
- 1/2 slab tempeh (LightLife or Trader Joe's organic tempeh are the right size)
- 1 c. arborio, carnaroli, or vialone nano rice
- 1/4 c. white wine (optional)
- 2 c. or more chicken or vegetable stock
- water to supplement the broth--if you need to soak or blanch an extra, use that water.
- 1/3 c. grated parmesan or romano cheese (optional)
- extras: peas, chopped asparagus, mushrooms, basil, etc. (optional)
Start the stock and water (at least 3 cups total) boiling in a small pot on another burner.
If you are using an extra like mushrooms that needs some cooking outside of the risotto, fry them in the risotto pan first, then remove. (Leave any juices behind for the risotto.)
In your good risotto pan, fry the onion-like thing in olive oil at medium heat until (somewhat) transparent.
Add garlic and fry briefly.
Chop tempeh into small cubes and add to onions. Fry as patients permits; I have occasionally gotten them to look crispy.
Add more oil if it's disappeared.
Add rice and fry a few minutes until transparent.
Optionally, add wine and fry away.
Now begins the eternal night of the risotto. Add a small amount of broth to the rice and cook it off. Keep doing this until the rice is done. This will take about half an hour; you should add your extras in time for them to get enough cooking or warming up on this schedule.
If you run low on broth and the rice is still too hard, add more broth or water to the broth pot. Chicken stock can take some dilution; vegetable stock should probably be supplemented with more vegetable stock, which is simple to do with the powdered stuff or concentrate.
Leave a little broth in the rice at the end to keep it fairly loose. If you have leftover broth, save it for reheating any leftover risotto.