Baked Rice with White Beans, Leeks and Lemon



4 leeks (about 2 pounds), or red & yellow onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 lemon

¼ cup raw almonds

½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 ½ cups uncooked basmati rice

1 (15-ounce) can white beans (such as cannellini or great Northern), rinsed

2 ½ cups boiling water

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

¼ cup thinly sliced or chopped basil, chives, mint or fennel fronds, plus more for serving


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a zester, peel ½-inch-thick strips of lemon zest, then cut the lemon in half. Cut one half into four wedges and reserve the other half.

In a spray a 9x13" baking pan, combine the onions, lemon zest strips, almonds, red-pepper flakes and olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, and arrange in an even layer. Roast until the leeks start to caramelize, about 20-30 minutes.

Finely chop the lemon zest strips, then stir it back into the onion mixture and arrange in an even layer. Sprinkle the rice evenly over the onions, then top with the beans and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the boiling water, then seal the pan tightly with foil. Bake until the rice is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Squeeze the lemon half over the rice, then stir in Parmesan and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges, and more Parmesan and herbs, as desired.