Confession! I’ve been distracted from my regular blogging schedule lately! First, we traveled to England in May. Then we came back and were playing catch-up with chores inside and outside the house. But I also had a really hard time just simply adjusting to being back home.
Now I am trying to finish all the posts waiting to be finally posted. While going through my countless drafts, I came across this dinner I made in early summer.
Asparagus isn’t in season right now where I live, but crunchy fresh green beans would be a perfect substitution. Give it a try!
When making this dinner, start the rice before the veggies. Basmati rice turns out fluffier if the grains are given a chance to “relax” before they get cooked. Chop your veggies while the rice is soaking and dinner should be on the table in about 30 minutes. I really love the combination of the fragrant, golden saffron rice and the simple stir-fried vegetables.
Here is how to make the saffron rice:
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 3 cups good quality vegetable broth (or water and bouillon cube or powder)
- a generous pinch of saffron threads
Wash the rice in a large bowl until the water is clear.
Drain and add to pot along with broth and saffron.
Let the rice sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Turn on the heat and bring to a boil.
Cover pot, lower the heat and very gently simmer the rice for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Turn off the heat and leave the pot covered until the stir-fry is ready.
For the stir-fry you’ll need:
- 1 large leek, trimmed, washed, sliced lengthwise and cut into slices
- 2 to 3 cups of mushrooms (I used maitake) sliced or torn into smallish pieces
- 1 large bundle of asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
- a few red and yellow mini bell peppers, cut into small slices
- olive oil
- sea salt to taste
Heat a heavy bottomed pan over low heat.
Add a little olive oil and the sliced leeks.
Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté until fragrant.
Turn up the flame and add the mushrooms. Stir and cook until they start to brown and wilt.
Then add the sliced peppers and the asparagus.
Stir and cook for just a few minutes until the veggies have lost their raw taste, but are still crunchy and firm.
Season with a sprinkle of salt and serve with the saffron rice!