The Basics : A Perfect Pilaf
This is an easy, healthy meal that looks posh enough for a mid-week dinner or lazy weekend lunch. It’s a perfect pilaf! And like all of these basic recipes, with a few tweaks and twists it can go in any direction you choose (see variations below). There’s about five minutes of chopping here and then a bit of waiting around while the rice cooks and that’s it! Serve this with a lemony horseradish cream or mayonnaise on the side and some nice bread and what you have is a really great meal!
Hot smoked trout, almond and lemon pilaf
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon rind, finely grated
2 cups basmati rice
1 /2 cup white wine
3 cups water (or stock)
1 cup broccoli
150g mixed salad leaves
200g hot smoked trout
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
lemon wedges and mayonnaise or creme fraiche to serve
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion for about five minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and lemon rind and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the rice, stir for a minute and then add the wine. Cook for another minute and then pour in the stock. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and place broccoli florets on top of the rice. Cover and set aside for five minutes. To serve, transfer to a platter lined with the salad and top the rice and broccoli with the flaked, skinned trout and scatter with the almonds. Place a few lemon wedges on the side.
- Substitute the trout with slices of cooked chicken breast or lamb backstrap.
- Add half a teaspoon of cumin, ground cardamon and turmeric to the onions while cooking and then stir through some raisins just before serving. In this case I’d skip the salmon and maybe serve instead as a side for a beautiful piece of barbecued lamb. This would be great with some minted yogurt on the side.
- Swap the hot smoked trout for lightly pan-fried snapper or other white-fleshed fish