Mediterranean Toasted Rice Bowl

Today’s recipe is a fantastic bowl, which comes together quickly and makes for a delicious weeknight meal. The inspiration for this recipe is two-fold. First and foremost is the new season of Iron Chef which is one Netflix. It’s quite a fantastic show and fascinating to watch from a cooking perspective. I’ve always loved watching cooking competitions throughout the years from Chopped, to Final Table and now Iron Chef. I find them to not only be super entertaining but are also almost an educational show to help me become a better cook myself. Whether it be through different new techniques or through ingredient pairings which I would not have independently thought of, I find they help me push my culinary boundaries. 

The second thing that inspired this is my newfound love of olives. For the longest time, I hated olives. I found them to be too salty & pungent. However, recently my step mom introduced me to almond stuffed green olives and I was instantly hooked. Green olives have a milder flavor while still packing a wonderful nutty, salty goodness. Naturally, I wanted to find a recipe to fully appreciate their flavor.  

There are three components to the recipe, an herby bean & greek yogurt base, topped with toasted jasmine rice, finished off with a delicious tomato, red onion & olive roast. This recipe boasts a great balance of fat, acidity and saltiness. I hope this recipe makes its way into your kitchen soon!

Active time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Roasted vegetable sheet

  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes
  • Large red onion, quartered and cut into thick slices
  • ½ cup chopped olives green
  • 1 cup crumbled feta (sheep & goat milk feta preferable)
  • ¾ tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Almonds & Rice

  • 1 ½ cup jasmine rice
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 ¾ cups vegetable broth

Bean & yogurt spread

  • 1 ½ cups cannellini beans (1 15.5 oz can)
  • 1 cup lightly packed dill
  • 1/2 cup whole milk plain greek yogurt
  • 1 pack pack basil (3-4 large stems)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F. On a large lined baking sheet add the cherry tomatoes, red onion, chopped olives and crumbled feta. Toss with the olive oil, salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing at the 15 minute mark. By the end the tomatoes should be a bit browned and well roasted, the feta should essentially melted and there should be lots of delicious juices in the pan. Set aside until read to serve. 
  2. Rinse the jasmine rice thoroughly. Removing all the starch on the outside of the grains will improve the flavor & texture. Add the rice to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Agitate the rice in the water with your hand until the water is milky. Carefully pour off the water. Repeat about 5 times until water is clear and set aside in a strainer. 
  3. Heat a large heavy bottomed pan on medium-low heat. Toast the slivered almonds, tossing frequently, until they are golden brown and set aside. 
  4. Add the butter to the skillet. Sautée the shallots and garlic in the butter until they are fragrant and the shallot is beginning to turn translucent. Add in the Jasmine Rice and toast until the rice begins to turn translucent. Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated 9-11 minutes. Fluff and set aside. 
  5. In a food processor with the blade attachment, add in the beans, dill, yogurt, basil, cannellini beans, olive oil, white wine vinegar and salt and process until a smooth purée. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper levels. 
  6. Time to plate. Start with a base of the bean spread and then layer the rice and roasted vegetables on top. Finish it off with the toasted almonds and enjoy!

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