riz provencal

50% paella and 50% risotto, this french-themed rice dish is 100% delicious. This recipe is very easy to adapt depending on what ingredients you have on hand; the only thing you shouldn't replace if you can help it are the herbes de provence. You can use a variety of vegetables and can omit anything you don't have. I use (and recommend) pre-cooked brown sticky or sweet rice, but you can use white sticky rice OR arborio rice. Variations follow the recipe.
Riz Provencal
Serves 2 as a light meal or as a very generous side dish.

2 Tbsp Olive Oil (divided)
3-4 medium to large parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 Cup Broccoli
1 Cup frozen peas
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
2 figs (fresh or dried), chopped
2 Cups pre-cooked brown sticky rice (see below for alternatives)
1/2 Cup water
1 1/2 tsp herbes de provence, crushed in your hand
several chopped olives (for garnish)

In a medium-to-large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add parsnips, saute 5 minutes, until just starting to be tender and/or browning. Add broccoli, saute 5 more minutes, then add the peas, salt, pepper, and figs. Saute 2-3 minutes, just enough so that everything is mixed and starting to warm up. Add the rice, water, herbes de provence, and the remaining Tbsp of oil; stir frequently until almost all of the water is absorbed; 5-10 minutes, depending on your definition of "medium heat." Top with Olives, and/or some toasted nuts.

You can add about 1 cup almost any chopped vegetables to the existing recipe or use them to replace something you don't want. Add them when you add the broccoli (except for harder vegetables like beets or carrots; add them with or instead of the parsnips) Some recommendations that keep with the provencal theme: mushrooms, 1-inch chunks of asparagus, carrots, tomatoes or peppers (if you can eat them), 3-4 chopped chestnuts.