I don’t usually cook with long grain rice because it takes so long to make. But when a friend of mine moved and gave me the remains of her kitchen, she left me with an indiscriminate container of a mystery long grain rice that I simply felt I couldn’t put to waste. (Was it brown basmati? We’ll never know.) This dish is very filling and incorporates a nice variety of textures, from crunchy to soft to chewy. Don’t be afraid to mix and match the dried fruit and nuts to your liking!
First up in the pan: a brief saute.
Add the rice…
Into the pot to await some water.
Long Grain Rice with Dried Fruit and Pistachios
This recipe comes courtesy of my friend’s mother. It’s “unstuffed” cabbage because it contains all the ingredients of the stuffed variety, but the meat is formed into meatballs, which cook in the sauce along with sliced cabbage. This is a very simple dinner that pairs well with crusty bread and with lots of different herbs, if you’re into seasonings.
Mix the other meatball ingredients before you add the meat
Use your hands to mix the ground meat in
Make walnut-sized balls
Chop the end off your cabbage
Cut the cabbage into one-inch roundels
If some core is present in a roundel, cut around it
Cut several 3- or 4-inch-long chunks from each roundel
Bring the tomato mixture to a boil
Add the cabbage to the boiling tomato mixture
Place the meatballs on top of the cabbage
Meatballs, hanging out!
Cover and cook until the meatballs set
Then stir and place the sauce and cabbage on top of the meatballs, cover, and cook again
I usually make these with meat, but I tried two veggie recipes this week that really worked. One is savory-sweet, while the other is just plain savory. *Both* times I meant to take a picture of the finished product with the dipping sauce, these delicious little rice envelopes disappeared too fast for me to remember! Stuffed grape leaves, popular in Greek, Turkish, and eastern European cuisine, are a perfect finger food for parties. Or you could just, you know, eat them all yourself.
Stuffed Grape Leaves!
You can buy jarred grape leaves at lots of specialty stores, or in supermarkets with aisles for international foods. Or grab them online!
Wash your leaves in cold water to get the brine off.
Toss the butter or oil, onions, and spices together.
Cook everything until the onions begin to go translucent.
Add the rice and cook it dry for a few minutes.
Now just cook it like rice, with water and stock.
Lay your leaves out vein-side up.
Place a tablespoon-sized bit of rice at the bottom of the leaf, in the center.
Roll the bottom up…
…then fold one side over…
…and the other…
…and roll the whole thing all the way to the end!
Place your leaves in a glass dish.
Pour a mixture of boiling water, olive oil, and lemon juice over the leaves.
Place a plate or some other heavy-ish weight on top. Bake until the water boils off, or drain it off when you’re tired of waiting.