Coriander has always been a favourite of mine. Whilst some people claim it tastes like soap, to me it reminds me of heady, spicy curries, fresh stir fries, hot and sour soups. When I was a child I didn't like parsley much; it tasted too iron-rich for me, like the metallic taste of blood when you suck a finger you've sliced open accidentally. And yet at any opportunity, I'll now throw it into salads, pastas and salsas.
I never thought the same would happen with dill. It tastes a little too much like aniseed for my liking, like too many sambuccas I've downed and yes, sometimes retched. But last Christmas, I couldn't get enough of the dill-cured gravadlax we had made. So, when I saw some on offer, I snapped it up with not a whole lot of thought gone into what I wanted to use it for. Firstly, these scallops worked incredibly well with it. Then, when mixed with smoked mackerel and yoghurt as I'd seen on Helen's blog.
Thumbing through some cookery books, I came across this broad bean and dill pilaf from Moro, by Sam & Sam Clark. It sounded perfect for the salmon fillet I had left to eat. I made a couple of alterations, and it made for a great accompaniment to the fish. It was simple, quick to make and there was no faffing around. The perfect weekend lunch.
Broad Bean & Dill Pilaf
200gr rice (I used Jasmine, but they specify basmati)
A large handful of dill
A large pinch of ground allspice
2 cloves garlic
2 handfuls of broad beans, double podded (I used frozen)
A small handful of flat-leaf parsley
Half a lime
3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
A large pinch of salt
In a frying pan, add the butter and heat until foaming. Slice the shallots and add to the pan, frying slowly until softened and golden. Add the two cloves of garlic, minced finely and then add the pinch of ground allspice and the salt. Add washed rice and stir it into the pan, ensuring you coat all the grains in the butter.
At this point, I added this mixture to a rice cooker and added enough chicken stock so that it came up to the first joint of my index finger when the tip of the finger is touching the surface of the rice. I believe you can also add water to the pan, but to be honest; I'm nothing without a rice cooker.
Add the 3/4 of the finely chopped dill and parsley, and flick the rice cooker on to cook. When it has switched to warm, I stirred in the broad beans and left it to steam for 20 minutes. To serve, scatter the leftover herbs over the rice, add the lime juice, and dollop the Greek yoghurt on top. Serve with salmon, oiled and grilled until the skin is crispy.