09 June 2014

Quick Whole Grain Rice and Veggie Dinner



Many people shy away from using whole grain rice because it seems to take forever to get it done – and they miss out on its nutty flavour and its lovely al dente bite. But there is an easy trick which means it will take no longer to do a whole rice dish than if you used any “normal” kind of rice: the use a pressure cooker.

What you need


  • 320g  whole grain rice per person (80 g per person and 200 ml water)
  • 800 ml water 
  • 2 sachets saffron disolved in a little white wine, sherry or white port
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (not pictured)
  • 3 spring onions (or shallots), roughly chopped
  • 2+ cloves of garlic, finely sliced or puréed
  • 3 medium sized carrots sliced thinly
  • ½ to 1 fennel, sliced (or whatever else you happen to have in the fridge or the veggie patch) 
  • 1 handful of black olives, de-pipped and rinsed
  • 1 capsicum pepper, cubed
  • 150 ml white wine or, even better dry sherry or white port 
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • about 4 cherry tomatoes per person, whole or halved
  • 1 tbsp red pepper corns (optional)

What you do


  1. For the rice, put the water and the rice into the pressure cooker and build up steam (some say no salt and no wine, but I have done both and it has worked out.
  2. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes, then allow to cool down (about 5 minutes) so you can open the pressure cooker. 
  3. Sprinkle the saffron into a small glass of wine, sherry or port and stir into the rice-vegetable mix. 
  4. In the meantime sauté the onions and the garlic, then add the carrots and the fennel, stirring to prevent browning.
  5. Add the wine, sherry or port and reduce a little.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add a little veggie broth if it gets too dry.
  7. Add the cooked rice, the olives, the pepper, the red pepper and, lastly, the tomatoes and mix gently, only letting the last veggies get warm – don’t cook them or they are no longer crunchy.