This versatile savory tomato rice can be served hot, as a side or chilled, as a salad. It is a variation of a recipe I developed while working at Gant’s Foods in Somerset West, many years ago. It is a quick and easy dish that adds variation in color and flavor to any meal.
Apart from being packed with antioxidants, lycopenes and heart-healthy nutrients, tomatoes are incredibly versatile and tasty. Native to Central America, tomatoes were cultivated by the Aztecs long before they were introduced to the rest of the world by early Spanish explorers.
[quote]I never realized how many recipes called for tomato until my husband switched to a nightshade-free diet to prevent arthritic flare-ups. Tomatoes truly are the magic ingredient in many a dish, and are very hard to replace![/quote]
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup long-grain white basmati rice, rinsed and well drained
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
- Heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and add the onion and pepper.
- Stir over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.
- Lower the temperature to medium, add the rice and stir until lightly browned.
- Add the remaining ingredients, excepting the cheese.
- Mix well, cover with a lid and simmer over low heat until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.
- Mix occasionally to prevent burning and add a little more water if necessary (see Notes).
- Fluff the rice with a fork and sprinkle with cheese.