When I was in San Francisco recently for the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival, I managed to have a quick bite with Angela from Spinach Tiger. Over dinner she explained she would be hosting an event in support and remembrance of World Aids Day. I thought it was a fantastic idea and a great way to get involved in Cooking Red to Remember. I advise you to head on over and read her poignant tribute and memories. Even better, get involved and "cook something red to remember". AIDS is a devastating disease that has affected people from all parts of the globe. An estimated 25 million people have died from AIDS from 1981-2007 (source: Wikipedia). Angela, I offer you my "red dish" as a symbol of solidarity and hope.
This simple and tasty dish can easily be made with ingredients likely to be found in your pantry and fridge. It's a red tomato pilaf a.k.a as "domatorizo" in Greek. It simply translates as tomato rice. Pilafs are a wonderful addition to a dinner and can easily be changed to suit your favourite spices. In this instance I've used smoky red paprika, ground red chilies and red wine vinegar along with a cooked tomato sauce I had lying about in my fridge. I varied from the original recipe by adding carrots, leeks and basmati rice. It was so delicious I devoured most of it in one go! I loved adding a dollop of yogurt on top to make it a complete meal.
(Adapted from Vefa's Kitchen
but changed a lot by me!)
- a good amount of olive oil to coat your pan or pot plus a small knob of butter
- 1 leek, washed and thinly sliced (green stalky ends discarded)
- 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 1 large grated carrot
- 500 grams of cooked tomato sauce or 2 cans of pureed tomatoes
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 1 and 1/2 cups of basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon of ground chilies
- 1 teaspoon of smoky paprika
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- a handful of finely chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Saute the leeks, garlic and carrot in some olive oil and butter until they become translucent.
- Add the tomatoes and cover allowing it to cook for about 15 mins or until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the rice and bring to a boil.
- Add the rice, stir thoroughly and reduce the heat.
- Cover the pot and let it simmer on a low heat for 15 mins until the rice is just tender BUT the liquid has NOT all been absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and place a kitchen towel between the lid and the pot and let it rest until the rice has swollen. The residual heat will allow this to cook a little further.
Serve the tomato pilaf at room temperature with an optional dollop of Greek yogurt (if you prefer).