Herby Baked Brown Rice with Fresh Beans
This recipe is a fresh, verdant update to the typical mundane side of weeknight rice. In the springtime, I'll use fresh fava beans, but feel free to skip step 3 in the instructions below and substitute lima beans, shelled edamame, or even cannellini beans. This bounty of vibrant herbs adds tons of beautiful green colors to the rice, and baking it in the oven allows you to focus on any protein prep you'd like to add as an accompaniment to this healthy side dish. Serves 4-6
1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup fresh fava beans, or bean of your choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 spring onions or scallions, roots trimmed and finely chopped, tops thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Set the oven at 375 degrees. Place the brown rice in a baking dish; set aside.
In a large saucepan, add the water, butter, and salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, pour water mixture into the baking dish with the brown rice, and stir to combine. Cover tightly with foil, and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in the same pan, bring salted water to a boil, add the fava beans, and cook for 4 minutes. Prepare an ice bath to blanch the beans, and submerge them in the ice bath for 2 minutes. Once cool, peel the outer skin from the fava beans; set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, and white onion bottoms. Cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes or until golden. Add the beans, gently stirring to coat with the onion mixture, and sauté for another 4 minutes; set aside.
When the rice is done, remove from the oven, fluff with a fork, and transfer to a serving bowl.
Add the bean mixture, chives, parsley, tarragon, thyme, green onion tops, salt, and pepper to the rice. Toss gently, and add more salt and pepper, then serve.