Summer grain & veggie bake
There is not much that can beat a well-stocked larder or store cupboard, in fact I simply adore it, especially when I struggle to close the door fully and must wedge it closed with an oversized tin of tomatoes. Stocked with copious (regimentally stacked) packets of pasta in various shapes and sizes, different varieties of flour for baking, pasta and pizza making, a huge slightly obsessive range of tomatoes from jarred to tins and cartons and more varieties of rice, that could very easily see me through the remainder of the year and the following too! This is how I stock my kitchen; I blame my mum Solidea! That said, I am thankful for the knowledge and accessibility of having a larder that can literally preform magic tricks with a few simple yet core ingredients.
When it comes to rice, the variety and grain has its own unique cooking requirement.
Below, I have made the most wonderful bake. It is a one pot blessing where the oven and the occasional stir with a wooden spoon carries out most of the work in a carefree manner. This rice and vegetable bake dish offers simplicity while echoing lightness paired with maximum flavour and a great texture due to the mixed grains of barley, spelt and rice. The texture is fantastic due to the mixed grains, this in turn offers a little interest with every mouthful. I would recommend for you to use your favourite seasonal vegetables to suit the time of year, swapping them for hardy squashes throughout the autumn and winter.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 – 50 minutes
Pre-heat oven: 190C (fan-assisted)
400g Riso Gallo 3 grain mix
900ml vegetable stock (or your choice of stock)
1 red onion, peeled, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 large courgette, finely diced
1 leek, washed, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
Salt & pepper, to season
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 small lemon, zest & juice
Small bunch parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. thyme leaves
40g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
80g friselle, (dried Italian bread)
Extra virgin olive oil, as required
- Add the Riso Gallo 3 grain mix, vegetable stock, and prepared vegetables including the onion, celery, courgette, leek, garlic, yellow and red pepper into a large casserole dish.
- Season with salt and pepper, stir and bake at 190C (fan assisted) for 40 minutes or until the grains and vegetables are tender leaving the lid off.
- Pop a tea towel over the friselle bread and use a rolling pin to break it up into rough textured crumbs. Mix the breadcrumbs with the freshly picked thyme leaves and grated Parmigiano Reggiano, this is your topping.
- Remove the baked grains from the oven, check for additional seasoning. Add the chilli flakes and dress with the lemon zest and juice. Add the chopped parsley.
- Spoon into shallow bowls and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture, finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Alternatively spoon the grain bake onto roasted Romano peppers and sprinkle over the textured topping.
Note: The Riso Gallo 3 grain rice blend is available from Ocado, Waitrose, EH Booths and Tesco.