From Renée Elliott’s Me, You and the Kids Too.
This dish makes a brilliant substitute for risotto. The flavours are absolutely wonderful and you don’t need to stand over the hob – just pop the whole lot in the oven and leave to cook while you relax. Peas, which are often a favourite with children because they are a great finger food, are sweet and packed with nutrients like antioxidants.
Baked Lemon and Pea Rice
Serves: 2 adults, 1 child and 1 baby
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus at least 7 hours soaking
Cooking time: 45 minutes
200g/7oz/1 cup brown Arborio or risotto rice
1 tbsp natural yogurt or kefir, for soaking
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, quartered lengthways and sliced
zest of 1 lemon
500ml/17fl oz/2 cups vegetable stock
120g/4¼oz/heaped ¾ cup defrosted frozen peas or fresh podded peas
4 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
50g/1¾oz Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp lemon juice
1. Put the rice and yogurt in a large bowl and cover generously with warm water. Leave to soak, covered, for 7 hours or overnight at room temperature. Drain well.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Pour the oil into a large casserole dish and heat a large saucepan over a medium-high heat until hot. Add the soaked rice to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes, or until dry. Transfer the rice to the casserole dish and stir well, making sure the rice is thoroughly coated in the oil. Mix in the leek and ¾ of the lemon zest, then pour in the stock and stir well. Bake for 35–40 minutes until the rice is soft but still has a slight bite and there is only a little stock left in the casserole dish.
3. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and stir in the peas, 3 tablespoons of the parsley, ¾ of the Parmesan and the lemon juice. Serve warm, sprinkled with the remaining lemon zest, parsley and Parmesan.
‘Renée Elliott’s cookbook is a kitchen essential for new moms and for those who need a little inspiration on how to feed the entire family.’
Cooking for a family can be a huge challenge that leaves you feeling like you’re always making compromises. In Me, You and the Kids Too, Renée Elliott makes this do-able. She shows that you don’t have to cook different recipes to please everyone at the table – and that you never have to sacrifice flavour or nutrition to get meals made without stress.
Order the book for £14.99 or the eBook for only £7.99