When you are an adult with a busy social life, making new friends is unexpectedly fun. And making new foodie friends is the best.
While in a Pasta-Matta You class at Whole Foods Market, Ellen Pollack and I discovered each other, and she filled me in on a cookbook club that meets once a month at our local library. Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi, is being featured next month, and we’re all invited to prepare a recipe and take turns offering our review. This steamed Herb Rice with Yogurt looked easy, original and delicious.
Herb Rice with Yogurt
- 1 1/4 c basmati rice, rinsed, soaked for 1 to 2 hours in 2 teaspoons of sea salt and water 1/2-inch above the rice
- 1/2 c finely chopped scallions
- 2 sticks finely chopped celery (optional)
- 2 c each finely chopped dill, parsley
- 6 c finely chopped cilantro
- 3 T each olive oil, water
- 1 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt partially mixed with a tablespoon of olive oil
In a large heavy pot, combine rice and soaking water with another 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Add scallions, herbs and celery. Simmer 2 minutes, then strain and put aside the herbs and rice. Dry the pot.
In the same pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add rice in a heap, like a sand castle, and use the handle of a wooden spoon to make 5 holes about 1/2-inch in diameter to allow steam to escape. Drizzle rice with a tablespoon of oil and the 3 tablespoons of water. Cover and leave on high for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Close heat, and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Serve the yogurt sauce over the rice with a Greek salad on the side. Serves 4. Give each person their share of the crispy bottom bits.
- You may have liked JC up until now. Prepare yourself to love JC after you try this Herb Rice with Yogurt. The rice on the bottom of the pot gets golden and crunchy from the hot oil. You can’t quite be sure if you are eating food or snack food. So yum — even my hubby was pleased.
- Let Herb Rice with Yogurt become your go-to solution for all the fresh herbs that accumulate in your fridge. You can juggle the amounts of each herb and still keep it interesting. For all you cilantro haters, it doesn’t even have a cilantro flavour. All the herbs just blend into what I call delicious.
- Not into rice? Try this recipe with your favourite grain and let us know how it goes.
- Any Montrealers game to start a cookbook club? We can start meeting in the spring.