from one generation to the next
There are several varieties of rice on my pantry shelf, but I confess to falling off the locavore wagon when it comes to this wondrous grain because the irrigation of Australia’s Murray – Darling Basin for the cultivation of rice on an industrial scale has led to degradation of both the land and the river system.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be eating rice at all, but then where would I be without risotto, paella, sushi, pilau, fried rice, pad Thai, steamed rice, rice pudding, rice flour, rice noodles, biryani, dolmades, stuffed vegetables, rice crackers, rice paper rolls and so on. We eat rice or a rice product at least three times a week, oh dear, that is a lot of carbon!! I must try to cut back…..
Pilau is not a new dish to me. I frequently make Carrot and Cashew Nut Pilau or a made up as I go version of lemon pilau to serve as a side dish to plain grilled meat. I vary the ingredients according to what lemony ingredients I have on hand, zest, juice, thyme, preserves, occasionally I even change the rice for millet. Time to try someone else’s take on this delicious dish.
Slightly adapted from Greg Malouf’s Long Grained Rice with Lemon and Toasted Almonds from “New Feast,” the buttery crunch of toasted nuts adds a lovely texture to this is intensely lemon rice. Delicious!
300g basmati rice
30 ml lemon infused oil
1/4 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 strip of orange rind
450ml hot vegetable stock
30g pine nuts
handful of fresh coriander leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Use a vegetable peeler to take the zest off the lemon in wide strips without any pith.
Squeeze the lemon, then add the juice to the stock. Warm the stock.
Crush the cardamom pod.
In a medium saucepan heat the oil and butter then add the rice, spices and aromatics and toast until golden.
Add the hot stock and bring to the boil. Cover the pot, turn the heat to the lowest setting and steam the rice for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat but do not lift the lid of the pot. Let the rice rest for 10 minutes to completely absorb the stock.
While the rice is resting toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until golden. Set aside.
When the rice is ready, remove the cinnamon, zest and bay leaves, then fork through the coriander and pine nuts.