This was my first attempt at making tomato pilaf.  Not really sure what a pilaf is, but it was tasty and a bit like a risotto.  I’d seen the recipe in Jojo Tulloh’s Freshly Picked and it sounded so simple and potentially tasty.

We used brown rice instead of white so it took longer to cook, but by far the most enjoyable part of making this was skinning the tomatoes – it’s just such a mucky job but deeply fun.  This is fantastic comfort food and requires excellent tomatoes.

Tomato Pilaf

Feeds 4 (but we found it only fed 2!)

olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
200g long-grain rice
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp salt
450g tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
knob of butter
small bunch of basil
black pepper

Warm about a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized pan and gently fry the onion until it is soft.  Stir in the rice and cook for about a minute.

Pour over 500ml of just-boiled water (I used the water I’d used to loosen the tomato skins) along with the salt.  Bring to a simmer and cover and leave to cook – the recipe says for about 10 minutes but our rice (which was brown) took a lot longer.

When the rice is almost cooked, heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and tomatoes.  Fry over a high heat until the tomato is almost a sauce, but still with some chunks.

Stir the tomatoes into the rice, along with torn up basil leaves and a generous knob of butter.  Season with ground black pepper and eat right away.

Taken and adapted slightly from Jojo Tulloh’s ‘Freshly Picked’.

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