Last week, the young olives and I launched our across country trip headed for the reigning U.S. olive kingdom, California. On the first leg of our trip, as we crossed the Mississippi into Arkansas, I saw rice paddies for the first time in my life, and the cravings began. I am a rice lover and nothing makes me happier than a dish of long cooking rice and extra virgin olive oil.
Here is one of my favorite recipes. It is easy but delicious and has many variations limited only by your (or my) imagination.
1 cup of rice
2 cups of water
1 packet of bouillon (I like ham or chicken)
extra virgin olive oil to taste
salt and pepper to taste (watch the salt, bouillon is salty)
Extra stuff: walnuts, almonds, raisins, pine nuts …
Soak and rinse rice until clear. Boil water. Add rice to boiling water. Add bouillon. Lower temperature to simmer and stir until boiling stops. Cover and resist looking for 20 minutes. Add the extra stuff of your choosing and fluff it in with a fork. If rice is cooked after 20 minutes turn off the burner and cover for two minutes to soften the extra stuff, if not, cover and peek occasionally. Take off stove. Serve. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour extra virgin olive oil over rice and eat.
May the sun shine through your branches.