Saffron Rice

I’m working my way though all of Ottolenghi’s cookbooks. I love his dishes – quick, easy and packed with flavor! You can use currents in place of barberries.

2 1/2 TBSP unsalted butter
2 c brown basmati rice, rinsed under cold water and drained well
2 1/3 c boiling water
1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 3 tablespoons boiling water for 30 minutes
1/4 c dried barberries, soaked for a few minutes in boiling water with a pinch of sugar
2 TBSP dill, coarsely chopped
4 TBSP tarragon, coarsely chopped
1/2 c crushed pistachios, lightly toasted
salt and freshly pepper

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the rice, making sure the grains are well coated in butter. Add the boiling water, 1 tsp salt and some pepper. Mix well, cover with a tightly fitting lid, and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes.

Remove the rice pan from the heat. All the water will have even absorbed by the rice. Pour saffron water over one side of the rice, covering about one-quarter of the surface and leaving the majority of it white. Cover the pan immediately and reseal tightly with the lid. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes.

Drain the barberries and stir them in, followed by the herbs and most of the pistachios, leaving a few to garnish. Mix well. Fluff the rice with a fork. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer the rice to a shallow serving bowl and scatter the remaining pistachios on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6 – 8


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