VegetablesAlison Lambert


VegetablesAlison Lambert
This dish is a trip down memory lane with the strong flavours of dill and lemon and hint of tomato to sweeten it up a little. Essence of Greece all cooked together in one dish!  Fantastic Spring Fare!

Leek Pilaff anyone? It seems we have forgotten this great dish to its Italian counterpart the Risotto. Unlike risotto you don’t have to stir it continuously which is a great time saver and it will absorb any flavours you throw at it. I say bring back the Pilaff it is a wonderful and versatile dish.

serves 4
100ml olive oil
1kg leeks, washed well and finely chopped
55g tomato passata or tomatoes whizzed and passed through a sieve
2 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
250g long grain rice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, finely sliced
100g butter


Heat the olive oil in a wide base saucepan or fry pan, add the leeks and soften them over a low heat, stirring often.

Add the rice and stir to combine so every grain is coated in the oil and leek mixture. Let it cook for 2 minutes to allow the grains to slightly toast which will give your rice more depth in flavour and colour.

Add the tomato passata and stir well, then add the herbs. Cover with enough water to half cover the rice (250ml). Season lightly and arrange with the lemon slices on top. Cover with a lid and adjust the temperature to a gentle simmer.

Simmer for 25 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed into the rice and the rice is tender.

Remove the lemon slices and discard. Slice the butter thinly and arrange the slices over the surface, put the lid back on, and let the rice rest for 10 minutes without stirring.

Serve alongside fish, meat or simply on its own!