This one-pot dish is akin to a purloo or a jambalaya. It evokes the traditional tomato-based Savannah Red Rice but is steeped in vegetable stock. When I was coming up, a bowl of rice with some roasted vegetables in it was often dinner, especially when meat proved scarce. I still find it comforting, just as I did during those lean years when I was at HowardUniversity, right after getting out of the Army. Anytime someone would say they didn’t have any food in the house, I would invite folk over and serve my version of Gullah Rice, finished with a handful of fresh arugula that wilt slightly from the heat.
*Tip: If you want to add meat, sauté sliced smoked or andouille sausage, or chicken tenders cut into chunks, for 5 to 7 minutes before adding the onion. For shrimp, add peeled and deveined shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
**Tip: Make a double or triple batch of this stock to keep on hand for rice dishes, soups, and sautés. You can freeze it or keep it refrigerated for up to two weeks. You may add clippings from other vegetables, such as asparagus and other greens, for added flavor, depth, and nutrients. Throw any of your leftover vegetable peels into your compost bin.