Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cilantro-Green Onion Rice

Makes about 3 cups and serves about 4 people
Cilantro-Scallion Rice
1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, divided
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbl lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided in half
1/4 tsp plus 1/4 tsp ground cumin, divided
1/2 tsp plus 1 tsp minced jalapeño, divided
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups water
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Make the dressing: In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup olive oil, lime juice, half of the minced garlic, 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp minced jalapeño.  Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Blend until nearly smooth.  Reserve.
Cook the rice: Heat 1 Tbl olive oil in a medium-sized saucepot over medium heat.  Add the chopped white onion and the white parts of the sliced green onions.  Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add the remaining half of the minced garlic, the remaining 1/4 tsp ground cumin and the remaining 1 tsp minced jalapeño.  Continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the rice and cook 2 minutes more, stirring frequently.  Add the water, season with more salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  When the liquid comes to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and decrease the heat to low in order to maintain a bare simmer.  Gently simmer until the rice is tender and all the water is evaporated and absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Peek under the lid from time to time, to make sure you’ve got just a bare simmer.  To make sure all the liquid is gone, tilt the pan to the side.  If water rises up the sides of the pan, continue cook the rice a little while longer.  Once all the liquid is evaporated/absorbed, turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest five minutes, still covered.  Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
Assemble the rice:  In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice with the dressing, the rest of the chopped cilantro and the sliced green onions (green parts).  Mix to combine.  Taste, and season as needed with salt & pepper.  Serve warm.