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Spanish Rice with Fresh Tomatoes

With an aromatic, fresh touch from the sage, and a vibrant, bright flavor from the tomato, this is probably one of the best rice dishes I have ever made. After experimenting with both brown and white rice, I have found that brown rice imparts a slightly nuttier, darker flavor, which allows the tomato to shine more. Because white rice already is similar to a blank slate, it doesn't impart much of a flavor, giving a more bright and simpler flavor. I would recommend using brown rice for accompanying item, say for like a taco or burrito, because it brings a much different flavor profile. For a simple side dish, I would recommend using white rice, because it simply allows all the flavors to shine and is a great starter for a fancy dinner menu.

Contrary to most restaurant recipes, this recipe does not use canned tomatoes or tomato paste. You may be familiar with tomato paste, as it is common in most stews, sauces, and meat dishes due to its deep, almost musky tomato flavor. I find that this does not blend well with fresh tomatoes, as one offers a brighter flavor while the other brings a darker, fuller flavor.


1 tbsp olive oil

2 fresh tomatoes (anything but cherry or grape), medium diced

2-3 leaves of sage

1/2 tsp of dried oregano

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, sliced thin

Salt to taste (start with at least 1 tsp)

1 tsp pepper

3 cups white or brown rice (see note above)

  1. First, begin by cooking the rice separately. Soak the raw rice in about 3 cups of water to wash off the starch. Repeat this 2-3 times until the water runs almost clear. Heat a pot over medium heat and fill with 6 cups of water. Add in the washed rice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 12-15 minutes until the rice is almost tender. Remember, this will cook in the sauce as well.

  2. Once the rice is cooked, set aside. Heat the oil in a medium stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Once shimmering, add in the onions, tomato, and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Next, add in the herbs and cooked rice. Finally, add in the salt and pepper to taste. Cook for an additional 2-5 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. If the rice is looking dry, add 1/2 a cup of water.

  3. Serve warm and enjoy!

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