Holiday meals have always been about the turkey, prime rib and potatoes in my family. I was really excited to find this Thanksgiving recipes showcased from Pereg Gourmet. The recipes use high-impact flavors like fresh herbs and spices and seasonal fruits and vegetables to minimize the need for gobs of fattening oils, cream and salt. One of those recipes is the Jeweled Rice dish featured below.
Pereg’s Jeweled Rice
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus soaking time for rice / Cook Time: 60 minute / Total Time: 75 minutes / Serves: 4-6
- 2 cups Pereg brown rice
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- ¾ tsp. Pereg cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Pereg ground cardamom
1 ½ tsp. Pereg coriander
- 1 orange (organic)
- ½ cup dried sour cherries
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ tsp. saffron threads
- ½ cup raw pistachios
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
- ½ bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
1. Soak rice overnight or at least 1 hour.
2. Drain off soaking water and rinse rice. Par-boil: Place in saucepan and cover with water 1” above rice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until al dente, 20 minutes. Strain and set aside.
3. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind off of the orange, leaving behind as much of the white pith as possible. Slice peel into thin strips.
4. In a mortar and pestle, combine saffron threads with a generous pinch of salt. Grind until it turns into a powder. Place saffron powder in a small bowl and mix with 2 tsp. hot (not boiling) water. Set aside.
5. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, heat olive oil on a medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
6. Add carrots and stir. Cook 5 minutes.
7. Add cinnamon, cardamom and coriander and stir to coat, cooking 1 minute until toasty and fragrant.
8. Add orange peel, cherries, and raisins. Stir to combine.
9. Add par-boiled rice, 2 cups water, and saffron mixture. Gently stir. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 30-40 minutes.
10. While the rice is cooking, toast nuts in a 300F oven or dry skillet. Roughly chop.
11. When rice is cooked, stir in 3/4ths of the nuts, pomegranate seeds and mint, reserving some for garnish. Serve on a large platter topped off with remaining nuts, mint and pomegranate seeds.
Are you up to trying something new this Thanksgiving for family and friends like I am? I’d love to hear what new dishes you are bringing to the table so please connect with me by sharing in the comments below.