SPANISH RICE WITH PEAS AND SPRING LEEKS (adapted slightly from Lunch at the Shop)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow or Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup Carnaroli rice
- 1/4 cup white wine or sherry
- 3 cups slowly boiling vegetable or chicken stock
- 3 tomatoes, sliced
- 3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
- 1 small bunch spring leeks, spring onions, or scallions
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly shredded
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- freshly ground back pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a cast-iron pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and butter, and once the butter has melted, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the red peppers, half of the spring leeks, the paprika and cayenne, and sauté for 5 minutes more.
Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to barely toast the rice. Add the wine; it should sizzle for a moment when it hits the pan. Stir it well to combine then cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it has evaporated.
Add the stock. The liquid should cover the rice by no more than 1 inch. Stir one last time to make certain nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan and to ensure that the ingredients are well combined. Cover the pan and carefully place it in the oven.
Bake the rice for 25 minutes. Carefully remove it form the oven. Uncover the pan, lay the tomato slices, the rest of the spring leeks, and the peas on the surface, and quickly put the lid back on (keeping the heat in will steam the peas and the tomatoes). Chop the basil and parsley together. After 10 minutes, uncover the pan and add the basil and parsley, stirring them carefully into the dish. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add a little grated Parmesan while the rice is hot, sprinkling it on top. Serve immediately.