Algerian Baked Wedding Rice

dsc_1325RECIPE #308, DAY #506

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Algerian Wedding Rice” from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions*

TIMING: 1 1/2 hours, including time to steam the rice

DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy

TOOLS: I use a rice steamer, but a rice cooker would work too (or even a pan on your stove)

COOK TYPE: Rice cooker and oven

HEALTH: If you eat white rice, then this is a grain with nuts and dried fruit and some butter. I think it makes a great side dish, but my kids are averse to nuts.dsc_1324

EXPERIENCE: Again, I had some random ingredients left over from the week before, and I noticed that a “menu” in Sally Fallon’s book matched a few of those key ingredients. So I made a mid-week feast for my family.

Absolutely all of the dishes were not only new but very new to my family, so it was sort of a challenging feast to eat. But adventurous. The rice was popular, with its buttery and sweet-savory flavor and the toothsome bits of pine nuts and almonds. I definitely would make this simple–yet layered in taste–rice again.

NOTES:  Sally Fallon would have you make this recipe with brown rice. You are welcome to try this, but my culinary experience told me that white would really be more appropriate here, and Basmati would be great.

Obviously, I was out of scallions when I made this batch, but I wouldn’t recommend making it without.

***

  1. In a small bowl, cover 1 cup diced dried apricots or dates with warm water and let sit 1 hour. Drain.
  2. In your rice steamer or cooker (or on the stove), cook 1-1 1/2 cups Basmati rice.
  3. Preheat oven to 250F. Butter a casserole dish. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine rice with 4 tablespoons butter and toss until melted. Mix in the apricots or dates, 1/2 cup toasted almond slivers, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, 4 sliced scallions, and salt and pepper to taste. Smooth rice flat.
  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until just turning golden on the top.

***

Serve with just about any meat and vegetable, especially anything Middle Eastern or Mediterranean. Lamb, lemony green vegetables, eggplant…

*Recipe changed from the original.

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