It’s been an absolutely glorious weekend here in the UK.  The mister and I took Friday off to give the house a MUCH-needed spring cleaning and have worked our patooties off.  But, when the sun is shining this brightly – and the temperatures are around 70 – there is nothing nicer than opening all the windows to give the place a good airing, cranking up the iTunes and getting the house all sparkly.

So, to celebrate a clean-clean-CLEAN house, I made us a gorgeous dinner last night – Nigella’s Za’atar chicken with fatoosh, roasted carrots with cumin and fancy-pants rice on the side.  This dish takes a few steps, but it is sooooo worth it! The flavors meld so nicely – it’s great with chicken and would be amazingly good with roast lamb.

Fancy-Pants Rice

  • Olive oil
  • 3 red onions, trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons

In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add a good drizzle of olive oil and cook the onions until soft.  When done, set aside in a large serving bowl.  Rinse the rice in cold water, then put the same onion pan back over the heat, add a little more oil and then the rice, stirring to coat with the onion-y olive oil.  When everything is hot and lightly browned, add the water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover until cooked.

While the rice is cooking, chop all the other ingredients and add to the bowl.  Once the rice is finished and fluffy, toss with the other ingredients, a drizzle of olive oil and the lemon juice.  Taste for seasoning and serve.