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
- 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.
- Leave to simmer for 15 minutes, then allow to cool down (about 5 minutes) so you can open the pressure cooker.
- Sprinkle the saffron into a small glass of wine, sherry or port and stir into the rice-vegetable mix.
- In the meantime sauté the onions and the garlic, then add the carrots and the fennel, stirring to prevent browning.
- Add the wine, sherry or port and reduce a little.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, add a little veggie broth if it gets too dry.
- 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.