Forget the taste, this rice Smells Like Heaven!
I am often tempted to make it just to perfume the house. I have always loved the exotic aroma of saffron. I playfully call this "Festival Rice" because of the fine and slightly expensive ingredients called for, it is the perfect fare for special occasions and celebrations.
I like to double the recipe and bring it to holiday gatherings, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hannukah parties! It has a rich buttery quality without any butter. This recipe gives you the warm cozy feeling of home and combines it with the exotic appeal of travelling to distant lands.
You may want to make it for no reason at all and eat it by yourself in the middle of the day. Go right ahead, it will be our little secret. ;)
Quick Saffron Bliss Rice (Festival Rice!)
1 cup Aromatic Jasmine Rice
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1/4 cup Sweet Onion, finely minced
1/4 cup Dried Tart Cherries
1/4 cup Sliced or Slivered Almonds
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Saffron Threads
Pink Salt & Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped Fresh Green Herbs, optional
If you have a rice cooker, add rice and stock and cook until done. If not, choose a good pot for cooking rice with a tight sealing lid.
In pot for cooking rice, or a small saute pan, gently dry-toast the rice. Add oil, onion and saffron, cook one to two minutes or until onion is just translucent. Continue if using large pot, otherwise, add saute mixture to rice cooker, along with stock and set to cook.
When rice is done cooking (approx. 15 minutes in a pot,), allow to cool for five minutes. Add cherries, almonds and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with herbs as desired or additional cherries and almonds.
*A high quality salt is important in this recipe, the complex mineral content really adds to the flavor. I like to use Himalayan Pink Salt.
*The added chopped fresh herbs are optional, I just love the color, flavor and nutrition they impart so I generally add a sprinkle over the top when serving. Parsley, chives and mint work wonderfully. :)
*To remove excess moisture and make a drier rice, place a towel or paper towel between pot and lid while rice is cooking.
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*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.