Black rice looks cool and has a great chewy texture and nutty flavour, plus it is much harder to overcook than ordinary rice. Look out for it in whole food shops, or you can find Thai black rice in big Sainsbury’s stores, while Ocado stocks the Biona and Belazu brands. Putting the long stalky bits of vine that sometimes come with the tomatoes in intensifies their flavour, and I’ve added lots of garlic to keep those pesky vampires away.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Four to six
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 160g bacon lardons (or chopped streaky bacon)
- 1kg cherry tomatoes (keep the vines if they come with them)
- 500g black rice
- Crème fraîche and chilli sauce to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200C/190C fan/Gas 6.
- Add the oil, garlic, bacon lardons and tomato vines if you have them (count how many vines you put in) to a large pan (one with a lid, if possible). Tumble the tomatoes on top. Put the lid on and bake for 20 minutes.
- Add the rice – stick a wooden spoon in and shift the tomatoes around so the rice mixes in a bit. Pour in 400ml boiling water. Return to the oven and bake for 50 minutes.
- Rice can vary as to how much liquid it absorbs so you’ll need to take the pan out of the oven, take off the lid and give it a stir. It should be thick enough that when you put a spoonful on a plate no liquid runs out. If it is a bit soupy, put the pan to simmer on the hob (without the lid) until it is nice and thick. Otherwise just pop the lid on and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Remove the vines (count to make sure you get them all!). Eat the rice in big dollops with a spoonful of crème fraîche and a trickle of chilli sauce if you like.
- Leftovers: Spread any leftovers out on a baking tray to cool. Pack in an airtight box and store in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat to piping hot in the microwave or oven.