Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Confetti Bean Pilaf

This is a great way to use up leftovers in the fridge - in fact that's how I came up with it. Leftover beans, veggies (cooked or not), and rice or other grains are all fair game. You could use uncooked rice too, just be sure to use the proper amount of liquid for cooking it and lengthen the cooking time.

2 c. leftover cold cooked rice or other grain
1-2 cans beans, any kinds
1. c water
2 tsp. chicken or vegetable bouillon
1 tsp bouquet garni
2 large onions, diced
6-8 cloves garlic, finely diced
1-2 c. any vegetables you like, cooked or raw, cut into small pieces (I used 2 fresh tomatoes and a leftover carrot)
4-5 T. olive oil

In a large, heavy frying pan, saute onions and any uncooked hard vegetables (such as carrots) in olive oil over med-low heat until they are very soft and beginning to brown, add garlic and saute, stirring, for a few more minutes until garlic is softened.

Add rice, water, bouillon, and herbs and cover. Simmer over med-low to low heat until water is almost absorbed, checking once or twice and stirring to make sure rice doesn't stick to the bottom - about 10 minutes.

When liquid is almost absorbed, add beans with their liquid and any cooked or soft veggies (peas, tomatoes, cooked carrots, etc). Cover and simmer another 5-10 minutes until vegetables and beans are heated through. The rice should very soft and almost saucy - neither dry nor watery. if it begins to dry out, add chicken broth a splash at a time, if it is too runny, simmer a few more minutes uncovered.

Salt and pepper to taste if desired.

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