Brown rice pilaf with olives, spinach and lemon

This is what I made for dinner tonight from this wonderful blog Lottie+Doof. I changed it a bit to use leeks, because I really, really love leeks (sweet and oniony and fantastic) and I upped the veggie content with some beautiful spinach. It’s warm, it’s healthy as and it’s downright delicious. Essentially this dish is kind of like risotto without all the stirring and cheese. The olives give a really moreish saltiness and the brown rice gives a wonderful nuttiness. Good comfort food and super super easy.

I love leeks!

Brown Rice Pilaf with olives, spinach and lemon Adapted from this recipe from

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 leek, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 1/2 Cups chicken or vegetable stock

3 1/2 Cups water

1 1/2 Cups brown rice

1 bay leaf

1 heaped tsp dried thyme (or a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme)

1 tsp salt

a couple of bunches of spinach, chopped

3/4 green olives, pitted and chopped

zest and juice of one lemon

basil and shaved parmesan to garnish

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan and add leek, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the leeks are soft about 6-8 minutes. Add the rice, stock, water, thyme, bay leaf and bring to the boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat, cover and leave for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, stir in 1 tsp salt, return to the heat and simmer, stirring from time to time for about another 30 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. In the last 5 minutes of cooking stir in the spinach. When cooking is complete, remove from the heat and stir in the olives, lemon zest and juice. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with basil and shaved parmesan.




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