Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Saffron Rice with Toasted Almonds & Barberries

Saffron Rice with Toasted Almonds & Barberries

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes or so
Serves 4

1½ cups water
1 tsp saffron, crumbled
1 cup basmati rice
¼ cup barberries (also called Zereshk – think Middle Eastern cranberries, but smaller and more tart)
¼ cup toasted almond slices
1 tbsp fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (fresh mint would work too)


1. Heat the water with the saffron in a medium saucepan over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Add the rice, stir and allow to return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover for about 15 minutes. Add the barberries, quickly toss with a fork and taste for doneness. The rice should be a hard in the core and there still should be a little water in the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. If the bottom was dry at 15 minutes, add a little more water.

2. In the meantime, using a small non-stick skillet, toast the almond slices over medium heat just until the edges brown (about 4-5 minutes).

3. Transfer the rice to a serving bowl, add the parsley and almonds, toss and taste for seasonings. Depending on what I’m serving it with, I might add a squirt of lemon juice.

It tastes great with Spanish Shrimp in Garlic.

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