- 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes or 4 Roma tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups long-grain or basmati white rice, rinsed (see notes)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley
- Lime or lemon wedges, for serving
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor or blender, puree the tomatoes and onions until smooth. Measure 2 cups of puree, pouring off and discarding any excess.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or a 3-quart saucepan until shimmering (see notes). Add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until light golden in color, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add garlic and jalapeños (if using) and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in tomato mixture, broth, tomato paste, and 1 ½ tsp. salt. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Stir halfway through baking time.
- Fluff rice with a fork. Fold in cilantro or parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime or lemon wedges.
- To rinse the rice, pour the dry rice into a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under running water until the water is clear. Alternatively, to conserve water, the rice may be soaked in a large bowl of cold water for 30 minutes and then drained well.
- Long-grain white rice is the traditional choice for this recipe, but I’ve also tested it with basmati and it works perfectly.
- To make this recipe vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
- If toasting the rice in a 3-quart saucepan, you’ll want to transfer it to a 4-quart or larger oven-proof baking dish for baking.
- To make the Mexican Rice in a rice cooker, follow the recipe through Step 4. After bringing the rice to a boil, transfer it to your rice cooker (coated with nonstick spray), close, and cook according to manufacturer instructions. Mine takes 33 minutes on the “White Rice” setting.