pen rainbow

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday's Cupboard—Jeweled Rice

A beautiful Cali-Persian dish by Bay Area chef, Samin Nosrat

I've simplified & adapted this recipe to fit my cooking habits by skipping the oven baking and by substituting readily available ingredients like dried cranberries & whole pecans for the harder-to-find barberries & raw pistachios.

Click HERE for Samin's original recipe from Bon Appétit, June 2013

Served with homemade rhubarb conserve & a fresh green salad

This recipe is delicious baked in the oven & served as leftovers the next day.

Do ahead:  Make the fruit & nut mixture up to 2 days ahead.  Cover & refrigerate the saffron mixture up to 1 day ahead.

Jeweled Rice
Serves 6
Prep Time:  1 hour + 10 mins


•  1/4 c. raw shelled natural pistachios (or roughly chopped raw shelled pecans)
•  1 small bag of slivered raw almonds (1/2 c.)
•  2 c. basmati rice
•  kosher salt
•  1 clean naval orange without flaws
•  1/2. c. granulated sugar
•  1 bag julienned carrots or 2 medium carrots, peeled & julienned
•  1/2 c. dried cranberries (or 1/4 c. dried barberries)
•  1 snack-size box raisins (1/4 c.)
•  1/4 tsp. saffron threads (crushed to a powder with a few grains of salt in a mortar & pestal)
•  2 T. unsalted butter
•  4 T. olive oil, divided
•  1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
•  1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
•  1/4 tsp. ground cumin
•  1/4. tsp. ground turmeric

Exotic spices

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spread pistachios /pecans & slivered almonds onto a silpat baking sheet & toast until just beginning to brown, about 4 - 5 mins.  Transfer to a plate & let cool.

Use a rice steamer for this.  It takes 40 - 42 minutes in my Black & Decker rice cooker to steam 1-1/2 c. of basmati rice.  This will produce 5 c. of cooked rice.  Break it up with a fork so that it doesn't stick together after it's finished cooking.  Keep the lid on to keep the rice warm.

Using an orange zester, remove the zest of the orange.  Save the inside of the orange for tomorrow's bag lunch.  Bring sugar & 1 c. water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve.

Add orange zest & julienned carrots, reduce heat & simmer until carrots are tender, about 15 - 20 mins. Set aside & do not drain.

simmer orange zest & julienned carrots until tender

Combine dried cranberries & raisins in a 1 qt. measuring cup or small bowl.  Cover with hot water & let soak for 10 mins.  Drain & set aside.

saffron threads_cranberries & raisins_roasted nuts
Place saffron in another small bowl & add 1/4 c. hot water; stir to dissolve & set aside.

Saffron — an expensive, but crucial part of Persian cuisine

Heat butter & 1 T. olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion & season with salt; cook stirring often until onion is soft & beginning to brown, about 8 - 10 mins.  Add cardamom, cumin, turmeric & 1 T. crushed saffron mixture.  Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Reduce heat to low.

Add raisins & cranberries; cook stirring often, about 3 mins.  Stir in nuts & orange zest /carrot mixture; season with salt.

sautéed onions + spices + raisins & cranberries

add the orange zest & carrots

Set fruit & nut mixture aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine hot cooked rice with the fruit & nut mixture.  Drizzle remaining saffron mixture over the rice & stir to evenly combine.  Serve with homemade or store-bought chutney & a fresh green salad with cherry tomatoes.

Drizzle over remaining saffron mixture & combine

a beautiful & tasty dish!