One thing I really like about Portland is the abundance of farmers markets. There are farmers markets downtown on Mondays and Wednesdays during the day, so it couldn't be easier for me to buy produce. Sometimes I get a bit carried away and return to work with multiple bags full of fresh foods. A recent Wednesday was one of those days. I don't know what came over me, but I was purchasing everything in site, including about 5 pounds of zucchini. I didn't really have any specific plans for all that zucchini, but arriving home from work knowing I still had quite a bit of Jacquis Rich Beans left, I couldn't think of anything tastier than a roasted veggie burrito.
Roasting vegetables is as easy as cutting the veggies up, tossing them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throwing them in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. I was in the mood for a bit more cooking than that, so I also made mexican tomato-colored rice from Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless. Authentic Mexican is a cookbook that drew great skepticism when it was gifted to me. The cover features a white guy with a goatee, not exactly the image that Mexican cooking draws. Executing the recipes changed my mind. It is an excellent mexican cookbook, as long as you are okay with truly cooking from scratch. Which I am.
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 c. long- or medium- grain rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 ripe, medium-small tomato, roasted or boiled, cored, and peeled OR 1/2 15-oz can tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 c. broth (preferable poultry) or water
Salt, about 1/2 tsp if using salted broth, 1 tsp if using unsalted broth or water
1 c. fresh or (defrosted) frozen peas (optional)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/4" dice (optional)
Several sprigs of fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley, for garnish
1. Frying the rice. About 40 minutes before serving, measure the oil into a 1 1/2 or 2 quart saucepan set over medium heat. Add the rice and onion, and cook, stirring regularly, until both are lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Mix in the garlic and cook a minute longer.
2. The liquid ingredients. While the rice is frying, prepare the tomato: Seed it, if you like, by cutting it in half width-wise and squeezing out the seeds, then puree it in a blender or food processor. Pour the broth or water into a small pan, add the salt, and bring just to a simmer.
3. Simmering and steaming the rice. Add the pureed tomato to the browned rice and cook for a minute, stirring several times. Add the simmering broth, stir the rice, scrape down the sides of the pot, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the rice stand 5 to 10 minutes, covered, until the grains are tender (but not splayed).
4. The optional vegetables. While the rice is cooking, simmer the fresh peas until tender (4 to 20 minutes, depending on their size and freshness), then drain and set aside; frozen peas only need to be defrosted. Separately, simmer the carrots 5 to 8 minutes, drain and add to the peas.
5. Finishing the rice. When the rice is tender, add the optional vegetables and fluff with a fork to separate the grains and stop the cooking. Scoop the rice into a warm serving dish, decorate it with fresh cilantro or parsley, and it is ready to serve.
I think you can figure out how to assemble the burrito, and if not, check out the pictures above. Along with the beans, rice, and veggies, I added some cilantro and green salsa.