In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Festive Tomato Rice.

This is one of my go-to recipes when I’m hosting people, especially around the holiday season (though I did share a Festive Christmas Rice recipe a few years back), thus the name ‘festive tomato rice”. Quick, easy and delicious, there’s absolutely no reason to not make this dish.

2-3 large ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoon coconut oil (adjust)
1 1/2 tablespoon salt (divided)
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
2 tablespoon tomato concentrate (paste)
1 med onion (diced)
5-7 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 scallions (chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
2 bird’s eye pepper (chopped – optional)
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin (geera)
3/4 teaspoon smoked Paprika
3 cups Basmati rice (washed)
4 1/2 cups chicken stock * see note below
2 tablespoon parsley

Notes! Use vegetable stock instead of chicken, to make this dish vegan / vegetarian friendly. If making this dish gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to ensure they meet your specific gluten free dietary requirements. May I recommend that you use the video below to follow along as much more about the recipe is discussed there.

As your oven preheats to 425F, remove the stems and core from the tomatoes and cut them into 1/4s. Place them skin side down on a lined baking tray and top with the oil, 1/2 of the black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. These go into the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes uncovered. Once done, remove and allow to cool.

Place a wide pan on the stove on a med/low heat and add the oil from the baking tray we used, followed by the onion, garlic, celery, remaining black pepper and scallion. Lower the heat and add the remaining salt and Bird’s Eye Pepper. Stir!

Add the paprika, cumin, stir and continue cooking on low.

After 3-4 minutes, add the tomato paste and the juices from the roasted tomato (see the video). Stir well to bring out the natural sweetness of the tomato paste.

Remove the skim off the roasted tomato (discard) and give them a rough chop before adding it to the pan.

Raise the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes, stirring as it cooks so it doesn’t burn due to the natural sugar from the tomato.

Add the washed rice and stir well to coat each grain with that lovely tomato base we created.

In goes the stock (I explain how I determine how much liquid I need in the video below), remember if making this vegan or vegetarian, you will not be using chicken stock as I did. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, lid on and cook until the rice is plump and all of the liquid is gone. TIP! Adding a bay leaf and fresh thyme will add additional flavor.

Thirteen minutes later, shut off the stove. Add the chopped parsley at the top, place the lid back on and let it sit (stove off) on the same burner you used.

Give it about 10 minutes, then use a fork to fluff and mix the rice! Get ready to enjoy it on it’s own or as a side to other dishes on your dinner table.

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