Brown Rice

With This All-in-One Recipe, You've Won the Fall Side Dish Lottery

November 22, 2017

This holiday season we're cooking up a storm, and looking for all the little ways we can make our life in the kitchen just a bit easier. We've partnered with Imagine® Broths to bring you table-ready recipes that are made richer and more flavorful with stock and broth.

It's the time of year when elbow-to-elbow dining tables and even fuller kitchens become the norm—when finding a burner on the stove is harder than finding an apartment in New York City, and when I might as well crawl over my dearest friends to flip the roasting vegetables.

Now (more than ever) I need recipes that are efficient and streamlined (since I'm not), that will save me precious kitchen real estate and keep me from butt-bumping my siblings out of way.

Which is why I praised the powers that be when I came across a reliable, forgiving method for cooking grains on a sheet pan in the oven in Raquel Pelzel's new cookbook Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless.

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Along with all sorts of tips for stretching your sheet-pans as far as they'll go, Pelzel provides a hands-off method for evenly cooked, never-gummy grains (yes, even the notoriously consternating brown rice): Toss them with a splash of oil, spread them on a sheet pan (give them 2 or 3 minutes to toast a bit), then pour over broth or water (I used Imagine® Organic Free Range Chicken Broth), cover the pan with foil, wait, and fluff.

There's magic happening on this sheet pan... Photo by Rocky Luten

When you cook the rice on the same pan where you just roasted vegetables and sautéed alliums, you'll channel all of that collective flavor straight into your grains. In this recipe, that bonus flavor comes from broccoli rabe, sweet potatoes, and scallions, with a little help from lemon and smoked paprika. So where other grains salads can be bland and one-note, this one builds flavor at every step of the way. (And of course, it also helps to cook the rice in a well-seasoned broth.)

All of this means that not only are you not obligated to wash the sheet pans as you go, you're actually not supposed to. That's like me telling you you just won the lottery, right?

This recipe is as good a Thanksgiving side dish (sub in vegetable broth for a meat-free option) as it is a low-maintenance weeknight dinner for staying clear-headed during these frazzled holidays. It would welcome a fried egg or shredded rotisserie chicken (and a pair of wooly socks, and a glass of wine). So serve it to that big crowd of guests that have recently migrated from your kitchen to the dining room...or keep it all for yourself.

What's your go-to weeknight meal during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments!

We've partnered with Imagine® Broths to bring you table-ready recipes that are made richer and more flavorful with stock and broth. Their Organic Free-Range Chicken Broth is made of real ingredients—no GMOs or artificial flavors—so you can feel good about the food you're cooking, eating, and serving.

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