Russian Arabian Wedding
“Pilaf is a class of rice dishes, most commonly referring to rice cooked in a seasoned broth with meat or vegetables. The English term is borrowed from Turkish pilav, from Persian pilāv, which in turn is borrowed from Sanskrit pulāka. The English term is further influenced by Modern Greek pilafi. Due to the vast spread of the dish, there exist variations of the name in many languages, including plov, polou, palov etc.”
Originally I named this dish a Russian Arabian wedding because I had no idea plov (as pronounced in Russian) is not a native Eastern European dish! I grew up on this rice with carrots and onions, always served with meat. Not wanting to use meat I already had in mind to use my leftover chickpea patties (recipe link below). As I began to cook it, adding a Middle Eastern flair and flavor, I checked out the history of plov and found out the flavor combination was not so strange at all. Having leftover salsa verde from the Peruvian arroz con frijoles (http://banquetforthesenses.net/cooked-2/peruvianarrozconfrijoles) from earlier culinary adventures, I wanted to incorporate that into the dish as well. The chickpea patties fit in with the Arabian part of the “wedding” but what could I do with the salsa verde? To be honest, I also had radishes in my fridge for the last week screaming to be used. I thinly sliced them with onion to make a Russian salad and let it marinate in the salsa- letting the acidity from the lemon/lime of the salsa pull out the bitterness from both root vegetables.
Cooked and drained brown rice
1 finely diced carrot
1 finely diced onion
1 finely diced large portabella mushroom cap
Chopped swiss chard
1 clove garlic
A good amount of tumeric, paprika, zatar,parsley, and a pinch of saffron, cayenne pepper, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste
Fry the spices in oil until they’re bubbling, add everything but the brown rice. Once nearly done, throw in the rice until it absorbs the flavors and crisps a bit.
Thinly slice radishes and onion, equal quantities of both. Marinate in salsa verde. (http://banquetforthesenses.net/2012/04/22/salsa-verde/)
This may sound very strange but trust me, it was very delicious.
The spice infused oil absorbed by the rice
the earthiness from the mushrooms and chard
the sharpness of the onion and radish
the acidity of the lemon/lime
and the freshness from the cilantro cuts through it all, leaving you with a feast of flavor to top the chickpea patties with.
Who doesn’t want to dine at a luxurious Russian Arabian wedding?