I’ve been really bad about posting lately, and I’m sorry. I could tell you that we had guests, and while we cooked a lot, we didn’t get around to photographing much of it or I just haven’t had time to write about it.
Or I could tell you that we just got home from a whirlwind trip to Taiwan, where one of my bridesmaids family took us in, stuffed us full of street food, and showed us the sights – Walker even ended up on several TV channels and in several newspapers after we stumbled upon a hoard of reporters doing a story on a changed bus stop sign – for the bus we just happened to be taking. He gave the interviews in Chinese but one of them has been translated into English here.
But instead I’ll just give you all a recipe for something quick, simple, and healthy that is good both the day of, and for left overs, cold and straight out of the fridge.
If there’s anything that a weekend full of street food will leave you craving, its something simpler, and un-fried. This is exactly that, and filling, with many different interesting flavors and textures that play well off of one another.
Please note that I’ve used an odd type of rice here – it’s not wild rice as we think of it in the US – several different types of grains all together including these long and thin dark brown grains. This box which I found at the Wulumuqi Lu store just has those long dark brown grains, and it plays up the nutty taste. But use whichever long grained rice you like best.
Zucchini Pilaf With Almonds
Adapted from the NY Times, adapted from Louise Beylerian
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup long grain rice – I used wild rice, which requires about double the cooking time
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound zucchini , cut into rounds and then halved or quartered
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sultana raisins
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Greek yogurt, or strained non-Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, grated with a microplane
1 tablespoon fresh mint
Pinch of cayenne
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. For the rice: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds on a baking sheet, and bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove, and set aside to cool.
2. In a small pan over medium heat, add butter and rice. Stir until the rice is lightly toasted, 5 to 8 minutes. Add vegetable broth and salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to very low so the broth barely simmers. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes if using wild rice – 15-20 if using any other kind. I kept coming back to it and tasting tasting tasting, thinking it would be ready, so just pull it off when you’re almost happy with the texture – you’ll be cooking it again. Meanwhile, prepare the zucchini.
3. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add olive oil. Add onion, and cook, stirring, until translucent and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, coriander, cumin, cayenne and salt. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add rice and sultanas, and mix well. If the rice looks dry, add two tablespoons water. Cover, and cook until the zucchini and rice are tender, about 15 minutes. The rice mixture may be uncovered and quickly stirred once or twice, covering it immediately after.
4. For the yogurt garlic sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, mint and a pinch of cayenne. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. When the rice and zucchini are ready, top with cilantro, toasted almonds and fresh black pepper. Serve immediately, with yogurt-garlic sauce passed separately.