We enjoy this family favorite with roasted root vegetables and a farm fresh garden salad. This dish pairs nicely with Pinot Noir due to the earthy flavors of the nuts, dried berries, and root vegetables.
Serves 4 to 6
4.5 cups water
1 cup sugar
6 (2-inch) strips orange zest thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1½ cups basmati rice, rinsed
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried currants
¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped and toasted
¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped and toasted
1.) Bring 2 cups of water and sugar to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in orange zest and carrots, simmer until carrots are tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool on a plate.
2.) Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and 1 ½ teaspoons salt and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in saffron and cardamom and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in rice, and cook for about 3 minutes or until the edges begin to turn translucent. Stir in 2 ¼ cups water and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low, cover, an simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 18-20 minutes.
3.) Remove pot from heat and sprinkle candied carrots and orange zest, cranberries, and currants over rice. Place clean, dry dish towel over pot and return the lid to the pot with the towel underneath. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Add almonds and pistachios and gently fluff with fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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