Red Rice with Braised Garlic Chili Broccolini, is one of those simple yet plentiful dishes that not only looks good but tastes even better.
Song of the day: “Born to be Alive” by Patrick Hernandez.
Red Rice with Braised Garlic Chili Broccolini, is a perfect way to settle down into lunch. Its vibrant flavors match the colors and it is a dish that is plentiful in fibers, minerals, and vitamins.
Red Rice, who would have thought? I have had wild rice, brown rice, short grain rice, Jasmine etc, etc, etc, but red rice never. Nicoletta bought it in Italy at an Italian supermarket called Eataly. I think I have said this before, but I just love going there to shop. It is not only a grocery store, it is an experience of the Italian culture and so much more. I like the idea that you can taste the products in each one of the restaurants located in the store, and yes you can bring your shopping carts in. That’s the best part. No lugging of bags upon bags of groceries, just stop, sit down, and enjoy the plethora of foods like fried everything, mostly fish and seafood, the rosticceria having anything oven roasted like meats, veggies, etc. Then there is the pizzeria, pasta place, pastry shop, gelateria, chocolates, olive oil, beer section, dairy section, and I think you are getting the feeling of what Eataly is.
Well to get back to my story. When Nicoletta is working in Italy and she is almost at the time of coming back to me in Canada, she is feverishly shopping to bring back favorites from Italy that it’s harder to find here. On one said excursion to Eataly, Nicoletta bought this red rice, Riso Rosso Integrale, placing it in an already filled luggage full of wonderful Italian treats, ready to find their way into our home in Canada. I love her for bringing these things home as she knows how much I like to cook with them. I don’t know what it is about the food in Italy, it just tastes better, maybe it is the sunny days or the fertile soil, or maybe it is just the passion of the producers replicating generations upon generations of wonderfully tasting foods! I believe energy is everything and if lots of love went in, lots of love will come out of it, equalling a most pleasurable experience.
Without further ado, I give you Red Rice with Braised Garlic Chili Broccolini!
Red rice has such a wonderful texture, almost corrugated in look. This equals amazing flavor potential. The beautiful thing is that when it is cooked, it turns into a wonderfully vibrant crimson color which makes it a star standing alone. The cooking of this red rice is comparable to brown rice. It needs some time as it is very fibrous. The ratio is 1 cup rice to two cups water, I poured in a few drops of sesame oil and a dash of sea salt. You could use a rice cooker, but I am an old school kind of guy and use a small pot, I first saute the rice in sesame oil, then add the water and bring to a boil, cover, then turn heat to a low simmer, stirring the rice frequently as to not let it burn at the bottom. When the liquid is just about evaporated I turn the heat off and keep the rice covered. You may have your own way to cook rice and I say whatever way works for you works for me too.
Nicoletta and I decided to pair the red rice with some lovely broccolini we bought from an amazing produce stand located in the Old Strathcona Farmers Market. The stand is called Sparrow’s Nest Organics. (#nosponsor). I have to tell you they produce an amazing product. I would describe their produce as beautiful, elegant, delicate, and super flavorful. It is always a pleasurable experience when visiting Sparrow’s Nest Organics. Graham Sparrow, the owner, always has a smile on his face, and when you ask him about the produce, be prepared to see his eyes light up and exude the passion and excitement that he has for growing things. Right off the bat, you are sold knowing that these veggies are grown with lots of love and just seeing the vibrancy and colors you know these are going to be wonderful additions to any dishes.
Braising is a great way to preserve the flavor and texture of a vegetable, so here is how it goes. In a saute pan heat up canola oil, sesame oil, garlic, crushed dried chilies. Toss in broccolini and coat them well with the infused oil. Then add veggie broth mixed with some of the broccolini water, and cover for a few minutes to steam.Take cover off and stir frequently spooning the juices over the broccolini. When most of the liquid has dissipated this veggie is ready to serve.
I love the colors happening here. The vibrant crimson color of the rice shimmering in the light. The broccolini a deep green reminding us how wonderful our earth is providing passionate farmers like Graham a place to create. You will notice that there is some cauliflower in the mix some made its way with the broccolini, and those nice red flakes of the chilies just add that punch of color and an expected bit of heat. The smells are wonderful. The earthiness of the broccolini mix, the nuttiness of the red rice. That unmistakable aroma of the garlic and sesame oil, simply heaven to my senses. I take some of the red rice and place some of the broccolini and juices off to one side. I take a bit of rice first and it is nice and al dente with a wonderful rich nutty, buttery flavor. Next the broccolini so rich and earthy. Nice and tender as those leaves just melt in my mouth. Those bits of cauliflower sneaking in giving us that backdrop and the only way I can describe it is cabbage-like flavor, which marries well with the sesame oil, garlic, and chili flakes.
Together this is a wonderful earthy experience, what else can we expect when we use excellent great quality ingredients that are passionately produced. I am truly grateful for this experience and we will definitely be back to visit Graham at his stand, excited to see what he is producing next!
You want something simple, better yet you are vegan or vegetarian, this Red Rice with Braised Garlic Chili Broccolini is a great choice. Full of incredible organic flavors, I can only imagine the healthiness of this dish full of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. The aromas awakening us to the experience. Let’s not forget that first, we eat with our eyes and I think visually it fits the bill nicely, don’t you?
I wish you an extraordinary day!
Song of the day: “Born to be Alive” by Patrick Hernandez.
- 1 cup red rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- pinch of salt
- 1lb broccolini greens (450 g)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Pinch of dried chili flakes
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 1/8 cup of steaming water from broccolini
- Go through broccolini and take out any spoiled parts. Wash and let drain.
- Rinse red rice in water.
- In a small sauce pot place rice, sesame oil and stir. Saute the rice for 2 minutes at most.
- Add the water, season with salt, and bring to a boil on medium to high heat.
- Then, turn heat on low, place the lid on and cook for about 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the liquid is just about evaporated I turn the heat off and keep the rice covered.
- While rice is cooking, take a large wok, pour in canola oil, sesame oil, garlic, and chili flakes, and bring to a medium to high heat.
- When garlic starts to sizzle throw in broccolini and toss well with the infused oil.
- Pour in veggie broccolini stock mix and cover, cooking for about 2 minutes.
- Take cover off and with a spoon juices over veggies continuously braising the veggies nicely.
- When juices are reduced, about 8 minutes, take off heat.
- Place broccolini into a serving platter and pour juices over top.
- Fork rice again and place in a serving dish.
- Ready to serve.
The rice cooking time will vary depending on heat and liquid, taste the rice periodically and it should have a slight crunch to it.
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