mediterranean slow cooked rice

Mediterranean Slow Cooked Rice

mediterranean slow cooked rice

This rice is not one of my fastest recipes, but it is definitely delicious (and one of Ed’s favourites!)- plump, luscious grains of rice reminiscent of risotto, or paella rice, loaded with flavour.

Although there are several steps to follow, none of them are arduous or time consuming – the time that is spent, is spent in soaking and in the cooking, not hard labour!

I have had a few disappointments developing this recipe. I wanted to change it from a delicious white rice recipe to a more nutritious and delicious brown rice version.  I tried to hurry it – (sad but true) – and can only confirm what you already know, that is crunchy and chalky half cooked rice is not delicious!

This adapted brown rice recipe is a dish for a day when you are able to think ahead and put the rice aside to soak in a bowl of acidulated water and know that later you will need an hour and a half to cook it.  This recipe was inspired by a recipe in one of my food hero’s books – Ottolenghi Simple – and as happens, it has evolved into something a little different.

My rice recipe requires some soaking of brown rice with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, between 8 hours (or overnight soaking is recommended!)  This is done to help breakdown the phytic acid and make the nutrients more available and easier for the body to digest  (or so I am led to believe!)

My feeling is that if you are going to cook and eat what I think of as delicious brown rice, you might as well make it worthwhile and get all the nutritional value you can.  This is not always possible but a great aspiration.

As delicious as this is for dinner tonight, it is just as delicious as leftovers or reinvented  – try…

  • Sautéed with an egg and spinach,
  • Or a stir-fry – Mediterranean style,
  • In a Budha bowl,
  • Arancini style rice cakes or fritters

So good news! I recommend you make more than you need and you will have leftovers to help make tasty easy meals tomorrow and the next day.  There is also nothing wrong with freezing the leftovers ready for the next time you come home a little late and need a quick start to a tasty easy rice based dinner .  I have written this recipe using soaked rice so if you make it without soaking, the water portion may not be correct.


Serves four – easily halved or doubled or more.

Remember that you need to pre soak the rice and allow for an hour and a half cooking time.

You will need an oven proof dish with a lid ,or tin foil to cover, to cook this in.


  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 3 + 3/4 cups boiling water to cook rice
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to soak
  • 3-4 shallots finely sliced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic finely sliced
  • Approximately ten cherry tomatoes (more is good when in season) – I have also used drained cherry tomatoes from a can in winter.
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • Optional – handful of chopped coriander stalks
  • Optional Bay or Kafir Lime leaves
  • Salt
  • Approximately 5-6 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil

Starting the night or the morning before you need the rice, rinse it and then cover in a bowl of water to which you have added two teaspoons of either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

When you are ready to cook the rice heat the oven to 180’C

In your oven proof dish add a generous coating of Extra Virgin Olive Oil – this will be approximately 5-6 tablespoons

Add sliced shallots, garlic, cherry tomatoes, cinnamon quill, and optional chopped coriander stalk 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Mix to coat well with the olive oil.

mediterranean slow cooked rice

Put in the oven and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes to lightly brown and soften.

Meanwhile drain and rinse the rice.

Add to the saute pan with a further 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir through the cooked shallot mixture.

slow cooked mediterranean rice

Gently pour over the boiling water and cover tightly.

Return to the oven to cook for another hour.

Check the rice is cooked, giving it a stir to mix the outer edges in. The water should have been absorbed and the rice cooked, but if it is not quite ready return to the oven for a further ten minutes.

You can leave it aside until you are ready to eat or eat straight away

I hope you will try this and enjoy it as much as Ed and I do. mediterranean slow cooked rice



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