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Chef Eric Ripert teaches us how to make vegetables the star of the plate.
This Valencian classic, called arroz al horno, is a substantial, delicious one-pan meal. It traditionally is prepared in a cazuela, a wide, low-sided terra-cotta vessel, but an oven-safe 12-inch skillet has a similar shape and works perfectly. Arroz al horno typically contains a couple varieties of sausage, but for our version we use only smoky, paprika-scented Spanish chorizo, the most well-known and therefore the easiest type to source. A whole head of garlic is placed in the center of the rice mixture just before baking. To ensure the garlic cloves are cooked until tender and creamy, wrap the head, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, in foil, place in the oven and give it about a 30-minute head start on cooking; use that time to prep the other ingredients for the dish and start the cooking. At the table, squeeze the softened cloves from the skins and mix them into the rice for a boost of sweet, nutty, garlicky flavor. If you like, offer lemon wedges on the side for squeezing—the acidity brightens the rich flavors in the dish.
head garlic, outer papery skins removed, top third cut off and discarded, plus 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for the garlic
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