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Old 29-02-2004, 11:16 PM
MacLeod, Kathleen
 
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Default Persian Rice & Pistachio Salad

Persian Rice & Pistachio Salad

1 cup raw white Basmati rice (*see note)
2 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
generous pinch of ground cardamom
pinch of ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
2 cups water
1/2 cup currants, chopped raisins, dates, or dried apricots
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios, toasted (**see note)
1/2 cup minced celery
juice of 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)

Rinse the rice in a sieve and set aside to drain. In a saucepan on medium
heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the rice and saute, stirring
constantly, for 3 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper,
salt, and grated orange peel and continue to saute for 1 minute. Stir in
the water, cover, and gently simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the rice
is tender and the water absorbed. In a serving bowl, mix together the hot
rice and dried fruit. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Add the pistachios,
celery, orange juice, and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Stir well.
Serve at room temperature or chill for at least 30 minutes and serve cold.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Variations: Add 1 tablespoon of fresh mint. If a little more tang is
desired, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice will make all of the flavors
sparkle.

* If you prefer, use brown Basmati rice. Just increase the cooking time to
45 minutes then let stand for 10 minutes with the cover on. The finished
salad will have a nutty flavor and a chewier texture.

** The pistachios can be replaced by toasted chopped almonds. To toast
nuts, spread them in a single layer on an unoiled baking sheet and bake in
a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until
lightly browned.

Credits
From: Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special (Crown Publishing)

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