Inspired by the classic Middle Eastern rice pilafs, this is a very easy dish to prepare either as a light lunch or supper. The rice pilaf can be prepared in advance and warmed again, and is also tasty served cold. You can have fun experimenting with different aromatics such as fennel, shallots, and spices such as cardamom. If you can’t get hold of saffron, turmeric is a good substitute, adding a fantastic colour to the rice. This dish works brilliantly as part of a buffet for parties too, the kiln roast trout can be flaked into the pilaf just before serving.
300g basmati or jasmine rice
150g blanched almonds
1 clove of garlic
½ onion, finely chopped
½ bell pepper finely diced
30g finely chopped flat leaf parsley
50g pitted black olives, halved
½ teaspoon of ground coriander
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
salt and ground black pepper
pinch of saffron
40g golden raisins
quartered lemon to garnish and serve
Toast the almonds in a dry non-stick frying pan for around 4 minutes, being careful to move them around the pan to avoid burning. Put to one side.
In a non-stick pan or skillet, heat a knob of butter and splash of olive on a medium heat and then add the garlic, chopped onion, cinnamon, coriander,turmeric, bay leaf and saffron. After a minute add the chopped bell pepper. Cook for a further minute on a medium heat before adding the rice.
Once the onions are translucent, and the rice grains in the pan with the aromatics. Cook for 3 minutes, making sure to move the grains around frequently. Add the two types of raisins.
Add approximately 450ml of low-salt chicken or vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Stir, bring down to a low heat, and cover for around 12/15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.
When the rice is cooked properly, take off the heat and stir in the chopped olives, toasted almonds and flat leaf parsley. The dish can be prepared in advance and held or warmed up in a low oven (160c) until required.
To serve, carefully place two or three fillets of kiln roast trout to the plate with the pilaf, and lemon on the side to garnish.