Here comes the spring with this flavorful, quite hearty, filling and super quick Mediterranean rice stew with egg and lemon sauce.
Vegetable stews and soups were this winter’s obsession. Have you noticed the past tense? Yay! The weather is definitely warmer and it smells like spring in this corner of the Mediterranean. That being said, it’s time to go full-on spring and check recipes off from my seasonal bucket list. But first, let’s honor these last winter days with a special dish. This Mediterranean rice stew with egg and lemon sauce tastes so fresh and looks like the sunshine!
The story behind the recipe’s development is more or less the same every time. Meal planning + cleaning out the fridge/pantry = new recipe. So, I knew I had veggies like carrots, leeks and leaf celery waiting in the fridge and those ingredients gave me the idea of this rice stew. A lot of delicious vegetables alongside long grain brown rice make a Mediterranean friendly meal. Healthy and yummy! Almost like a risotto, but not exactly.
However, I had to go further than just a “so good” Mediterranean rice stew and make an “unforgettable” one. Why not add a hearty, creamy, tangy and 100% healthy sauce that will bring all the flavor together? So, I did it the Greek way and it worked like a charm. The famous Greek egg and lemon sauce called avgolemono (avgo=egg + lemono=lemon) in Greek.
Finally, adding egg and lemon sauce provides a vibrant yellow color to any dish that is more pleasant for the eye. You know what they say: you eat with the eyes first. Very nice color indeed but let’s add more with one of the most delicious and colorful spice. Turmeric. Nailed it! That’s how this Mediterranean rice stew looks like the sunshine!
The one and only challenge for this dish (and any dish with egg and lemon sauce) is to add raw eggs to hot broth without the eggs curdling. It isn’t that difficult but it needs your attention while tempering the egg-lemon mixture. Just follow my instructions carefully for this part of the recipe. For the rest, throw the veggies and rice into your pot, give them a few stirs and top them with the egg-lemon sauce. Whip up your dinner in no more than 30 minutes and serve an incredible dinner from just a few ingredients. It couldn’t be easier and tastier.
Serve your Mediterranean rice stew with whole-wheat pita and a traditional cabbage salad. A dry, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect pair for this dish.
Use up the veggies in your fridge and pantry and make your version of this Mediterranean rice stew. Don’t forget to top it with the egg and lemon. Tag me and let me see your creations on Instagram or Facebook or leave your comment and rating on this page. It’s been always a pleasure to get your feedback.
- ⅓ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 5 leeks, the white part, chopped
- 1 cup celery leaves, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 5-6 cups (1,25-1,5lt) hot water or low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup (250g) white parboiled rice or long grain brown rice
- 1 egg
- 1 lemon, juice
- Salt, pepper
- In a large pot, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the onion and leeks. Stir well for 2-3 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the carrots and leaf celery for 5 minutes and then garlic, crushed red pepper, and turmeric. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir well and season to taste.
- Pour carefully hot water or vegetable broth to cover all the ingredients and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice and thoroughly rinse it under cool water. Drain. When vegetables are ready, add the rice in the pot. Season to taste. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until rice is ready.
- If the stew is too thick, add more hot water or broth. Repeat if needed but don’t add too much. Reduce the heat to low. Reserve ½ cup of broth.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until lightened in color and frothy, about 1 minute. While whisking, slowly pour in the lemon juice. Drizzle the reserved broth into the egg-lemon mixture, while whisking vigorously.*
- Add the egg and lemon mixture into the pot, cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes and stir to combine. Don’t boil it.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.