Spanish rice is one of my favourite side dishes: a lovely, warm mediterranean flavour which you can pair with a lot of otherwise bland food like grilled fish, fish fingers, veggie fritters and patties (or meats). It’s very versatile, I normally pair it up with grilled halloumi for myself and chipolatas for husband. Takes about 30-40 minutes to prepare it, so it’s quite quick and easy. The only thing is, that you must avoid overcooking it, so it won’t become soggy and mushy. It could even be a dish on its own, just add some Parmesan. Great for tomato addicted kids, like Bobcat. 🙂 The recipe below will give you 4 adult side dish portions.
120g risotto rice
2 large bell peppers chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can of chopped tomato
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
handful of fresh basil, chopped
300ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
half a ts of chilli (optional)
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 pack of Cypriot halloumi
Heat the oil in a medium pan and cook the vegetables and all the spices together for 10 minutes on medium heat to soften and let the spices to release their flavour. Add the rice (wash it first!) and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes more. Then add the canned tomato and the stock. Cover and cook it for a further 15-20 minutes. Keep checking if the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pan and add some more water if necessary. It’s ready when all the liquid is absorbed and both the rice and pepper are al dente. For smaller toddlers you can cook it longer making the dish soft and fluffy.
For the grilled cheese, slice the halloumi into approximately 1 cm wide slices and on the grill or in a grill dish fry both sides for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
You can add extra sweet corns, if you wish, it goes well with peppers.