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Culinary Guides

Baked Rice With Slow Roasted Tomatoes & Feta Lamb Meatballs

This recipe is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Simple. Thought I made a lot of alterations and ingredient substations to make this work with what we’ve got on hand and at the farm. However, I will say his method for baking the rice is perfect for someone like me who always seems to burn my stovetop rice. The rice dish turned out perfectly cooked and the slow roasted tomatoes and garlic melt in your mouth. This is a wonderful late summer dish that highlights the peak season bounty with a warm, cozy vibe going on in the kitchen. This meal tastes great with a light red wine (like a pinot noir) and is just hands down, delicious!


Baked Rice with Slow Roasted Tomatoes

  •     2 pints tomatoes
  •     12 large garlic cloves, peeled
  •     3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  •     3 cinnamon sticks
  •     7 tablespoons olive oil
  •     salt and pepper
  •     1 1/2 cups wile rice or basmati rice
  •     2 1/2 cups boiling water
  •     1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

Feta Lamb Meatballs

  •     1 pound ground lamb
  •     3 ounces crumbed feta
  •     2 cloves of garlic, minced
  •     1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  •     1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •     pinch of salt and pepper
  •     plain whole milk yogurt for serving
  •     pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large deep casserole dish, arrange the tomatoes, garlic, thyme and cinnamon sticks. Pour in the olive oil and add a hefty pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the rice evenly over the tomatoes without stirring them. Increase the oven temperature to 450F. Sprinkle the top of the rice with a little more salt and pepper. Pour the 2 1/2 cups of boiling water over the rice. Seal the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the parsley. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the meatballs turn the oven temperature down to 425F.
  4. In a large bowl combine the lamb, feta, garlic, thyme, parsley, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into about 2 inch size meatballs. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven until cooked through and lightly browned on the tops of the meatballs. About 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep to the side.
  5. Divide the rice between bowls and serve with the meatballs and plain yogurt. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper to taste and crushed red pepper flakes if desired.
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