The story behind this recipe is very short. I told my mother I was planning on making a rice pilaf with fresh fava beans and dill and she said ‘they also make pilaf with artichoke, you know?’ Well, actually I don’t know who makes pilaf with artichoke nor how they make it! And this time I didn’t even bother to look it up. I just quickly made up my own recipe, using both artichoke and fava beans. Then I thought a carrot would fit in nicely too!
The result? A pilaf to indulge in! This is a must-try recipe, trust me! And artichokes are in full season these days…
- 1 medium onion
- 1 artichoke bottom
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 100 gr fresh fava beans, pre-cooked and skinned
- 50 ml (¼ cup) riviera olive oil
- Salt, a couple of pinches of sugar
- Fresh dill, fresh mint leaves to decorate (optional)
- Toasted pine nuts (optional)
Step by step method
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- Peel and finely chop onion and add to the pot. Clean and cut carrot lengthwise. Then cut both halves into thin slices. Cut up artichoke bottom into cubes of about 1½ – 2 cm (¾ inches).
- Place a pot (with lid) on medium heat and add olive oil. Toss chopped onion for a couple of minutes. Add carrots and artichokes and toss together for 2-3 minutes. Then add rice and toss over medium-low heat for a few minutes, constantly stirring around with a spoon or spatula until rice grains become almost transluscent.
If you notice that the mixture seems a bit dry you can add a little more olive oil. Now add lemon juice, salt and a couple of pinches of sugar. Then add 1¾ cup hot water. Bring to a boil and add about 100 gr of fresh fava beans*. Wait until liquid comes to a boil again then decrease heat to low, place lid on pot and cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (*Place fresh fava beans, plus a pinch of salt and sugar in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Skin them using a small paring knife.)
- When you notice little wells or holes on the surface of the cooked rice, take pot off the heat. Check to make sure rice is cooked and tender to the bite. Then place a clean kitchen towel to cover and firmly put lid on top. Leave to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh chopped dill and decorate with some fresh mint leaves if you like.
Also if you want, you can try adding a couple of tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. This pilaf can be served hot or warm to your preference.