Jeweled Basmati Rice
This dish conjures up visions of Persian opulence. It was once the food of Persian kings and queens. We’ve boosted the nutrition of the traditional recipe by using brown basmati rice and by excluding the butter customarily used for a bottom crust.
Serves 8 to 10
3 cups brown basmati rice
6 cups vegetable broth or water
3/4 cup fennel bulb (or celergy), diced –reverse fronds for garnish
1/2 cup dried cherries, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (chopped grapes are an easy substitute), plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
Salt to taste
1. Rinse rice, and then place it with broth or water in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid.
2. Bring to a boil, stir once, reduce heat, cover and simmer 50 minutes.
3. Leaving the lid on, remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in all other ingredients, reserving extras for garnish
5. Let cool to room temperature, and serve heaped on a platter garnished liberally with fennel fronds, dried fruit, pomegranate seeds, and nuts.
By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).