I originally found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks (a trusted source for healthy, hearty grain dishes) and when I realized that Heidi Swanson was actually sharing a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe (the author of one of my favorite cookbooks Jerusalem) I was completely sold. I was planning a dinner party for two good friends and I wanted a side that was more than simply a filling starch. This recipe is layered with flavor, easy to make ahead of time (although, alas, I was still working on it after my friends’ arrival), and will be a dish that I frequently return to (everyone had seconds). With a little doctoring, this recipe could become a main course.
Note: I took a few liberties from the original recipe. The original is linked above, the version below is what I made using ingredients that were already on hand in my kitchen. I also reversed the colors; Ottolenghi’s recipe calls for red rice and white quinoa, but as my local supermarket (a little shop in Queens that barely fits the width of a cart) did not carry red rice, I substituted brown rice and replaced the quinoa with the red variety.
Ingredients, serves a large dinner party (about 10 people)
- 1 cup red quinoa, cooked (you can make this in advance)
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked (you can make this in advance)
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted, chopped (next time I think I will increase the quantity of pistachios; I really enjoy nuts in my savory dishes)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (white is recommended, I used yellow because that is what I had)
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- about 2/3 cup olive oil
- zest and juice of one orange
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 2 handfuls arugula (I almost skipped this, don’t! it pairs brilliantly)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the rice and quinoa according to the directions on the packaging. Lay out the cooked grains on two baking sheets to allow them to cool and dry a bit. If using brown rice, remember that it takes awhile to cook, about 40 minutes, so consider your timing in advance.
- Meanwhile, toast the pistachios (I do this in a dry frying pan over low heat, rattling the pan frequently, but you could also do it in a toaster oven or on a baking sheet in the oven). Once cooled, chop the nuts.
- Saute the onion, shallot, and garlic in about 4 Tbsp of olive oil until golden brown.
- Toss everything together including the remaining olive oil, adding the arugula last, and serve at room temperature.