Wednesday 8 July 2009

Broad Bean & Dill Pilaf

I've been on a bit of a dill kick recently. Now and again I'll make a dish with a certain herb, and suddenly I'll be adding it to everything I make.

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

Serves 2

200gr rice (I used Jasmine, but they specify basmati)

A large handful of dill

3 shallots

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

20gr butter

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.


Ollie said...

I've always adored dill. Perhaps my favourite herb. Its affinity with seafood is very special, and I think goes deeper than the sprinkling-of-parsley-on-pasta-sauce shtick.

The pilaf looks beautiful, Lizzie. Clean and fresh.

Jenny said...

I think it might be my eastern European heritage, but I totally love dill. With fish it is spectacular.

Weirdly as I child I enjoyed eating parsley, I'd steal parsley garnishes from other people's plates! I was obviously a maladjusted child.

Dan said...

I love Dill as well, it has such a fantastic distinctive smell and taste. Interesting, I've cooked the same recipe from the Moro book, but mine didn't come out half as nice looking as yours, and frankly didn't taste that great. I'm now thinking I must have messed it up somehow - You've inspired me to give it another go and see.

Helen said...

so this is what happened to this dill! it looks very summery and fresh as Ollie said. I love it too. In fact, I love every herb. I'm currently obsessed with Thai basil now I've found a regular supply. Can't get enough of them broad beans either - NOM!!

Anonymous said...

I don't like dill either, I wonder if I can re-train my tastebuds though.

Anonymous said...

Dill and salmon... marriage made in heaven... and Broad beans are a personal favourite. Very yummy indeed!

Helen Yuet Ling Pang said...

We're going bonkers trying out all our different herbs growing in the garden! Much more fun (and fresher) than buying them. Dill is about the only one we don't have. This looks great (love broad beans too!)

Niamh said...

I used to love dill, then suddenly, some years ago, I went off it. I am trying to learn to love it again.

This recipe looks very fresh, healthy and delicious. Yum!

TM said...

I HATED parsley for years, and was always exasperated by anyone who used it. Then, like St. Paul on the road to Domestos, I had an epiphany, and it is now my number 1 herb. I've yet to be converted to dill. I'll put up with it, but not much more. This recipe could convert me though...

Unknown said...

I tried this pilaf and it was excellent. I added a bit of cinnamon and sugar as well to the shallots and butter and it worked really well. Great blog!!