I found the basic recipe for this rice and peppers dish on a recipe site, and tried it. I thought it could use some tweaking, and so here is the result. I really like this as a flavorful side dish, but it holds its own as a light meal too. This one is vegan without needing any modifications.
Rice with Corn, Peppers, Leeks, and Onion
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 ea large leek
1 lg onion
2 lg red bell pepper
2 lg green bell pepper
6 cloves garlic
1 can low sodium sweet corn, drained
1 cup white Basmati rice
2 cups Chicken or vegetable stock
1 rich pinch Saffron
½ tsp Curry powder
Salt and pepper
Put the stock into a small saucepan and add the saffron, curry powder, and some fresh ground pepper. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, clean the peppers, and onion, and make a medium to large dice of all of them, keeping the diced onion separate for now.
Peel and chop the garlic into a slightly coarse mince.
Cut the leek right where the white turns to green. You are going to use the top green part, so store the white for another recipe. The green leek “leaves” have a natural split in them, so peel the layers apart and be sure to wash all the dirt out from between them. Then cut them crossways into ¼” wide strips.
As soon as your broth is at a boil, add the rice, turn the heat to low, and cover the saucepan with a good fitting lid. Set a timer for 15 minutes and do not lift the lid.
Heat a large sautoir with the coconut oil in it on medium high heat, and add the onions and sauté until just starting to turn nice and steamy. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for about a minute, and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook the mixture until a few of the onion bits start to caramelize.
Add the peppers and turn the heat back to medium high. Sprinkle with a generous measure of salt. Sauté and stir frequently. Do not let ingredients burn to the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, the rice is done. Turn off the heat, and give it a quick stir with a fork. Replace the lid and let it sit for now.
Take a small non-stick pan, add a little coconut oil, and sauté the leek leaves on medium with a pinch of salt until they go limp.
Lower the heat under the sautoir to medium low, and add the sautéed leeks, the can of corn, and the rice. Stir it all together well, and grind in some pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Like many recipes that include savory vegetables, this improves with a day of refrigerated storage, but can be eaten right away. It keeps well, and reheats easily in a pan with a dash of stock.
This recipe is based on a Food Network recipe by Lauren Groveman, but I have modified it in a few ways after experimentation. The leeks and coconut oil really richen the flavor, and the hint of curry in the saffron rice delights the nose with every bite. Enjoy!