In Spain, Arroz de Ayuno (fasting rice) is traditionally eaten during Lent. (La Cuaresma) Many Spanish people avoid eating meat during Lent, so this dish is ideal. The bay leaf, garlic and saffron give a really good flavour, so you don’t miss the meat. This dish is just too good to keep for Lent – it can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
It’s very economical, and makes a hearty meal with a salad and fresh crusty bread. Arroz de Ayuno is suitable for vegetarians, and also goes well with roast lamb or pork, so it’s a very versatile dish. I am very much a rice person, and this is one of my favourites when I want to have a few meat free days, or if I’m on a bit of an economy drive and I want to eat out of the fridge and the cupboards for a few days.
For best results, use Valencia rice or risotto rice, as they absorb the liquid better than other varieties. Buen Provecho!
Ingredients (for 2)
100 gr. rice
½ jar of white beans
1 medium sized potato, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
1 stick celery, chopped
1 large tomato, grated
1 tbsp tomato frito (tomato puree)
2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
½ an onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, grated
Pinch of Saffron
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp of freeze dried parsley
300 ml vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a paella pan or large, heavy bottomed frying pan.
Add onion and bay leaf, stirring until the onion has softened.
Now add the grated tomato and potato to the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring continually.
Add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes until the rice goes transparent, then add the stock.
Add saffron, garlic, tomato frito, salt and pepper and white beans, stirring to mix everything together.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The dish is ready when the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the potatoes are cooked through. If you think the mixture is becoming too dry, add a little more stock or a little white wine. The finished dish should be moist, like paella.
Sprinkle the chopped eggs over the rice and garnish with fresh or freeze dried parsley to serve.
Image credit: www.generacionnatura.org