Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
This all vegetable version of Louisiana's dazzling, famous Creole rice dish captures the color and excitement of the New Orleans great, annual Mardi Gras festival.
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil or 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 1⁄2 cups vegetable stock
- 1⁄4 lb fresh okra
- 1 1⁄2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup baby corn
- 1⁄4 lb peeled squash or 1⁄4 lb pumpkin
- 1 1⁄2 cups arborio rice
- salt and pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, washed and drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
- Add the oil and cook the celery, pepper, onion and garlic for 7 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add the bay leaf and thyme and cook for 2 minutes longer.
- Add the stock, stir well, and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, trim off the tops of the okra stems.
- Add the okra, tomatoes, baby corn, and squash to the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Then stir in the rice.
- Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
- Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the beans and parsley, and cook for 5 minutes more.
- When the rice is done, check the seasoning.
- Serve hot.