Friday, October 26, 2007


(shown with Almond-Crusted Salmon and Roasted Asparagus)

I’m not a huge rice fan, and consequently, I’m not very good at making it. If you want underdone rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot, I’m your woman. But I do enjoy the nutty taste and less starchy texture of basmati rice, and this recipe intrigued me with its flavorful additions (garlic, chicken broth, pine nuts, green onions, herbs, and cheese) and different cooking method (the rice is sauteed in a skillet instead of being boiled in a saucepan, which helps it cook faster and seems as though it would solve my sticking-to-the-pan problem. So I made it as an accompaniment to Almond-Crusted Salmon, and it turned out to be the best rice I’ve ever made (though considering how rarely I make rice, this isn’t so much of an achievement). I still had some of the underdone/pan-sticking problem (the liquid always seems to disappear to early—what’s my problem? Does the lid not fit tightly enough, or am I stirring the rice prematurely?), but it was fluffy and tasted good. White rice usually seems boring to me except as a backdrop for Thai or Chinese or Indian food, but the extra ingredients here added plenty of interest. It was easy to make, and most importantly, it went perfectly with the salmon. I might not be rushing out to make this over and over again, but I would wholeheartedly serve this particular combination again.

Postscript, December 2009: ...But I haven't. Just don't like rice enough, it turns out. This may be my favorite rice recipe, but since it's not in my regular rotation, it's consigned to "Not Favorites."

¼ cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon olive oil, or to taste
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup green onions
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Toast pine nuts in a medium skillet over medium heat. Remove pine nuts and set aside.

2. In the same skillet, heat olive oil (I might have used more like 2 teaspoons) over medium-high heat. Add rice and garlic to the pan and sauté 2 minutes or until rice is lightly toasted. Add water, broth, and salt to pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

3. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in onions, pine nuts, Parmesan, basil, thyme, and pepper.

Serves: 6
Time: 30 minutes

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