Baked Brown Rice with Fresh Herbs

Instead of boiling brown rice, bake it and fold in an array of fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables. In the spring, my favorite combination for this dish are fresh fava beans and spring onions. For a wintry approach, feel free to toss in edamame and scallions that are more readily available. This can be one of those blank canvas dishes where cooked veggies or bottom of the fridge leftovers make a great last minute meal or side dish. My recipe was featured in the Boston Globe last week, but here is the can't-wait-til-spring version. Serves 6.
1 ½CUPSbrown rice
2 ½CUPSwater
¾LBfresh lava beans, shelled (about 1 cup)
1TBSPNolive oil
2Xcloves garlic, thinly sliced
4Xspring onions, roots trimmed and finely chopped, tops thinly sliced
1TBSPNfreshly chopped chives
1TBSPNfreshly chopped parsley
1TSPNfreshly chopped thyme
1TSPNfreshly chopped tarragon

  1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Place the brown rice in a baking dish. In a saucepan, bring the water, butter, and a generous pinch of salt to a boil. Pour the water mixture over the rice and stir well. Cover with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 1 hour or until the rice is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in the same pan, bring salted water to a boil, add the fava beans, and cook for 4 minutes. Prepare an ice bath to blanch the beans, and submerge them in the ice bath for 2 minutes.
  4. Once cool, peel the outer skin from the fava beans; set aside.
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, and spring onion bottoms.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes or until golden.  Add the fava beans, gently stirring to coat with the onion mixture, and sauté for another 4 minutes; set aside.
  6. When the rice is done, remove from the oven, fluff with a fork, and transfer to a serving bowl.
  7. Add the fava bean mixture, chives, parsley, thyme, tarragon, spring onion tops, salt, and pepper to the rice. Toss gently, and add more salt and pepper, if you like. 

Find my recipe on The Boston Globe here!

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