Time for My Kitchen My World's second country for April -- Turkey! There are so many delicious sounding Turkish recipes on the internet that I had a hard time deciding what to make. I love eggplant and pistachios, so when I saw this recipe for Turkish Rice Pilaf with Eggplants and Pistachios, I knew I would have to give it a try.
Turkish Rice Pilaf with Eggplant and Pistachios
from Ashbury's Aubergines
1 pound eggplant (2 or 3 small, 1 medium)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup rice, preferably basmati (or some other aromatic, long-grain rice)
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried dill (or 1 tablespoon fresh dill)
1 teaspoon salt
1 whole tomato, peeled and chopped, or 7 to 8 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
16 to 19 ounces canned chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
Trim and discard stem end of eggplant. Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes and place the cubes in a colander. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt, tossing the eggplant to coat it evenly with the salt. Set in a sink to drain.
Put the rice in a large bowl and fill the bowl with water. Swish the rice around and drain it. Repeat several times until the water runs clear. Cover the rice with water and set aside.
Chop the onion into 1/2-inch dice. Combine in a large saucepan with olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened.
Rinse eggplant well with running water and press it firmly in a cloth towel to squeeze out excess moisture and dry it well. Add it to the pan and increase heat to high.
Cook eggplant and onions together, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain the rice and add it to the pan.
Chop raisins a little (don't be too obsessive about it) -- I love that the recipe author tells you not to be too obsessive :) -- and add them to the pan with 1 1/2 cups water, cinnamon, dill and 1 teaspoon salt. Put the top on the pan, lower heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes, or until rice is tender and the water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, peel and core tomato, then chop into 1/2-inch dice. Five minutes before the rice is cooked through, add tomato and chickpeas and stir gently to combine. When the rice is done and the dish is heated, spoon into a serving bowl or onto individual plates. Top with pistachio nuts.
Makes 2 to 4 servings as a main dish, 6 servings as a side dish.
I thought this was nice little lunch dish, I loved the flavor and texture combinations, there was a lot 'going on' in this dish. As for changes, I had to add more liquid for the rice to cook though, and left out the onion. I look forward to trying some more Turkish recipes, I bookmarked quite a few while finding this one. Be sure to visit My Kitchen My World and see what delicious dishes everyone else picked for Turkey :)