* * * * *
I start by heating up 1/4 cup of very good olive oil in a shallow pot, and sautéing the onion over a medium heat for about 2 minutes, until tender. Then I add the leeks and carrots, and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes, stirring pretty much constantly.
Next, I add in the squash and tomatoes, along with a couple of fresh basil leaves, and sauté everything, stirring gently, for just a few more minutes.
I sprinkle in a scant 1/3 cup of long grain rice, along with a 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper, and about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Finally, I pour 1-1/2 cups of hot water over the top, give everything a quick stir, and when the liquid comes to a boil, I cover the pot, and simmer everything over a very low heat for about 30 minutes until the rice is cooked and the vegetables are tender (but not mushy).
The finished dish has a great balance of color, texture, and flavor. This large plate of vegetables was gobbled up by the boys so quickly, in fact, that I wish I had made more!