PEPPER-GINGER YELLOW RICE

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch fresh ginger root, minced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
1/2 tablespoon ginger powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
Salt, to taste
3 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup long grain brown rice
1 lemon, for serving


Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger root and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the curry, turmeric, coriander, ginger and cumin and cook until fragrant, 5 minutes. Sprinkle with a little water if it starts burning.

Season with salt. Add the broth and peas and bring to a boil. Add the rice. Cover, lower the heat to low and simmer 45 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid almost evaporated. Serve sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Serves 4

EGYPTIAN RICE & LENTIL PILAF

This Koshari dish is a street food sold in large pots on stands or ambulant carts everywhere in Egypt. It is served in a bowl with a generous serving of spicy tomato sauce. It makes fantastic lunches that will keep hunger away for hours and hours. If you’ve ever had mujaddara, you’ll find this dish very similar.

Koshari reheats well, tasting fresh and bright for many days so feel free to make a large batch of this leftover-friendly food.

 
For the koshari
1 ½ cups green lentils, washed
1 cup long grain rice, washed and drained (I used instant brown)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces vermicelli noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 ¾ cups chicken stock or water
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 white onions, halved and thinly sliced
 
For the tomato sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 hot chilies, seeded and finely diced
8 ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Chopped cilantro leaves

 


 

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredient for the sauce except the cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro leaves.

Place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with lots of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked but still firm. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the vermicelli and fry them, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Add the rice and stir to coat it with butter. Add the water or stock, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the lid and turn off the heat. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat for 20 minutes, until dark brown. Transfer onto a paper towel to drain.

Add the lentils to the rice. Add most of the onions, reserving some for garnish. Toss to combine. Plate the kosheri in a bowl and top it with the remaining onions. Serve warm with the spicy tomato sauce.
 
Serves 4
 
Slightly adapted from Ottolenghi.

DUKKAH RICE

Dukkah is an Egyptian blend of toasted spices, seeds, nuts and dried herbs. It is typically mixed with olive oil and served as a dip with bread but it also works well for seasoning various dishes such as this one.

 

1 cup long grain rice

1/2 cup almonds

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Sea salt, to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

2 medium carrots, finely grated (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

 


 
Cook the rice according to package instructions.

Toast the almonds, sesame seeds, oregano, thyme, cumin, pepper and cardamom in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a coffee grinder, add the sea salt and grind to a powder. Transfer the ground mixture to a large bowl and whisk the olive oil and lemon juice into it.

Add the carrots, if using, parsley and cooked rice. Toss well to flavor the rice with duqqa.

 
Serves 4

SAFFRON RICE

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons grated yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup parboiled long grain rice
1/4 cup golden raisins, rinsed
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds


Add the saffron to 1/2 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the grated onion and olive oil in a medium pot and saute until fragrant and golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 1/4 cups of broth or water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add the rice and saffron infusion. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and cook the rice until tender, 25 minutes. Stir in the raisins and almonds. Serve warm.

Serves 4

BAKED QUINOA WITH CHARD & FETA

1 cup red quinoa (or another color)
2 cups water
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped Swiss chard
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon harissa or other hot sauce, optional
1 teaspoon baking powder
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8 x 8-inch pan.

Place the cooked quinoa with the rest of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake the quinoa until set and somewhat crispy on the surface, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool a bit before cutting.

Serves 6

BAKED OATMEAL

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen raspberries
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup sliced almonds, optional


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Butter an 8×8 cake pan.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Toss in the raspberries and chopped apple.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg and vanilla extract.

Add the milk mixture to the oat mixture and lightly fold to moisten the oats. Transfer into the prepared pan. Scatter the sliced almonds on top, if using.

Bake until the surface is golden and the oatmeal looks almost as set as a cake, 30 minutes. Let it cool a little.

*If you don’t like coconut, use 1 1/3 cups oats instead of the suggested 1 cup oats and 1/3 cup coconut.

Serves 4 to 6

STUFFED CHARD LEAVES

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 scallions, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup jasmine rice
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup chopped roasted cashews
½ cup raisins, presoaked in warm water until plump
¼ cup chopped dill
Juice of ½ lemon
A large bunch Swiss chard, stems cut off

Vinaigrette
Equal parts olive oil and lemon juice


In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the scallions for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, rice, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes. The rice should be fully cooked but still firm. Remove from the heat. Drain excess liquid.

Transfer the rice to a mixing bowl and let it cool a bit. Add the cashews, raisins, dill and lemon juice. Toss a couple of times to combine. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Blanch the chard leaves for 2 to 3 minutes, until they look tender. Dry each leaf in paper towel and cut out the middle rib to obtain two halves. Working horizontally, fill each half leaf (vein side up) with about a tablespoon of the rice mixture. Fold by tucking in the sides and tightly rolling the leaf into a spring roll shape. Arrange the rolls on a plate.

Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice until emulsified to make the vinaigrette. Spoon the vinaigrette on top of the stuffed leaves. Enjoy at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Serves 4

Stuffed Chard Leaves

 

QUINOA PATTIES

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
½ medium onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup flour
Vegetable oil or clarified butter, for pan frying


Place the quinoa with 2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, chop the carrot, celery and onion finely in a mini food processor. Transfer to a frying pan. Add the olive oil and sweat the vegetables over medium heat, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with mustard and mayonnaise. Add the cooked quinoa, flour, vegetables, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Generously coat a large non-stick frying pan with oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Shape the quinoa mixture into 3-inch patties. Carefully and closely deposit the patties onto the hot pan. Cook the patties undisturbed, 3 to 5 minutes per side until their surface is brown and crispy. Use two spatulas to carefully turn them over. Proceed in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and making flipping the patties difficult.

Serve with hot sauce.

Serves 4

BULGUR SALAD WITH ASPARAGUS, MINT & FETA

1 cup bulgur
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 cup diced asparagus
15 mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon


Place the bulgur in a bowl, cover it with boiling water and let it sit 20 minutes until it swells up. Drain excess water.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute the shallot until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bulgur and toss. Remove from the heat and let cool a bit for a minute or two. Add the mint, cilantro, feta, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Toss a couple of times to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.