Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Green Rice with Pistachios

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Rice is so easy to treat as an afterthought that it's nice when it can play a starring role. I pulled this recipe from Lucid Food, a cookbook I've flipped through a lot lately, full of recipes focused on healthfulness and sustainability (the book's subtitle is "Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life"). Many of the recipes are vegetarian or vegan, but not in a preachy way, which is a relief. This vegan dish is inspired by the many variations of rice used in Persian cooking, with dried fruits, nuts, herbs, and legumes commonly added to bring flavor and character.

It becomes "green rice" due to substantial amounts of parsley, cilantro, and dill, which are bright against the mellow, unmistakable taste of saffron that permeates the dish. What was perhaps more surprising was the heavy use of citrus, which brings a sourness that really keeps things in balance. A scatter of pistachios bring a subtle sweetness and texture to the proceedings. I served this will a little grilled chicken, but lamb would also be perfect.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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