This recipe uses a reliable, forgiving method for cooking grains on a sheet pan in the oven—a huge win for weeknight (or holiday) cooking. Plus, 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. So where other grains salads can be bland and one-note, this one builds flavor at every step of the way. —Sarah Jampel
4 to 6
bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed of woody ends
medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and roughly cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes
olive oil, divided
Salt, for seasoning
small bunch scallions, light and green parts thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups
long-grain brown rice, tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil
free-range chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
roughly chopped parsley
finely grated pecorino (or more, to taste)
Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower positions, place a rimmed sheet pan on each rack to warm up, and heat the oven to 400° F.
When the oven is hot, toss the broccoli rabe with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, then divide onto the hot baking sheets and spread with a spoon. It should sizzle.
Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once, until tender and charred. Transfer to a bowl and return baking sheets to the oven. Sprinkle broccoli rabe with 1 teaspoon or so of lemon juice from the halved lemon.
Mix the sweet potatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika. Spread onto the hot baking sheets and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once, until charred in places and tender throughout. Transfer to the bowl with the broccoli rabe.
Lower the oven temperature to 350° F. Add the sliced scallions to one of the still-hot baking sheets (you can remove the other from the oven but leave it dirty—you’ll use that later). Roast for 5 to 7 minutes, until wilted. Next, add the oil-tossed rice, stirring to incorporate the scallions and any roasty bits from the baking sheet.
Carefully pour the chicken broth over the rice and stir in the liquid. Use oven mitts to cover the sheet with aluminum foil and crimp it around the edges. Bake for 35 minutes, until the rice is cooked through. In the last 10 minutes of baking time, add the hazelnuts to the other tray and toast until deeply golden brown. Rub off the skins in a dish towel, if you’d like, then roughly chop.
When the rice is cooked through, remove the sheet pan from the oven and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the foil, fluff with a fork, then transfer to the bowl with the sweet potato and broccoli rabe. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix in parsley, pecorino, and hazelnuts, reserving some of each for the top.