This is the broad beans season in Lebanon and prices have dropped to less than 1000LBP per kg. In Lebanese currency this is really cheap. So we ate “fül” (broad beans) with beer, we cooked some as a stew with cumin and oil, we put a stack in the freezer. What else?
A salad! This salad makes a refreshing side dish. People enjoy most the combinations of fresh thyme and lemon zest that brings a burst of brightness to the rice. It is done with Basmati rice, but I like to mix my basmati with black forbidden rice, I’m not sure if I do it because of the flavors or because of the name. Forbidden rice or “emperor’s rice” earned its name because it was once reserved for the Chinese emperor to ensure his health and longevity, and forbidden to anyone else. It is gaining popularity for its high levels of antioxidants and superior nutritional value. I used today a Tilda Basmati Rice & Wild Rice pack, it contains 2 kinds of rice in 1 bag.
Like any salad, other ingredients of your choice can be added like dill, red onions or yellow pepper. “Who knew Rice Salad could be so good!”
Lemon Rice Salad
1 cup basmati rice, uncooked
2.5 cups water
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup thyme leaves
3/4 cup fresh broad beans, skinless
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, soaked in water and peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Bring water to boil, then pour in rice. Cook rice until tender and water is all absorbed. (I used a mix of white and black basmati).
Place cooled rice in a salad bowl and stir in lemon zest, thyme, beans and pistachios.
Combine dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad. Toss to well combine.
Rice pudding was Kaia’s first favorite food. I used to cook it more when my girls were teething☺ I consider it more of a baby food than a dessert, because it reminds me of them sitting in their high chair enjoying eating Riz bi Haleeb.
It is an easy and simple recipe to prepare for the whole family. Every country around the world has its own version of rice pudding. I find the Lebanese recipe the best I’ve ever tasted. Perhaps, because of the use of the mastic gum that gives it a little of a light chewy feel and the aromatic fragrance of the orange blossom water.
Hope you and your kids enjoy this great old-fashioned dessert!
3 cups full fat milk
½ cup white sugar
½ cup short grain white rice
1 cup water
1/4 tsp mastic powder, pound
1tbsp orange blossom water
Unsalted whole pistachios, to decorate
Unsalted ground pistachios, to decorate
Pine nuts, to decorate
Pour milk in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sugar and bring to a boil.
Add the rice and water. Stir well.
Cook over medium heat for about 30mn or until the mixture is creamy, stirring constantly, making sure the rice doesn’t stick at the bottom of the pan.
Add the mastic powder and the orange blossom water and cook for another 15mn until thickened.
Remove from heat. Spoon the rice evenly among serving bowls.
Decorate with pistachios and pine nuts. Served chilled.