1 cup basmati rice
½ cup french green lentils/puy lentils (you could also substitute with 1 drained tin of lentils)
3 cups vegetable stock (for cooking rice and lentils)
2 bay leaves
6 fresh medjool dates, chopped in small pieces (could also use 10 regular baking dates)
½ preserved lemon, finely diced (could also use zest and juice of one fresh lemon)
100 grams Sicilian green olives, chopped into slivers and pits discarded
⅓ cup pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup good quality olive oil
large handful mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
sea salt and cracked black pepper
To serve: additonal herbs and pistachios
The flavour layering starts when cooking the rice and lentils. Using a good quality vegetable stock and a bay leaf makes a huge difference to the end result. You’ll want to make this dish again and again. It’s also perfect to double for a crowd.
Wash and then drain basmati rice. Place in a saucepan with 2 cups of vegetable stock and one bay leaf. Cook as per packet instructions until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove the bay leaf and set aside for 20 minutes to cool slightly.
Wash and then drain the lentils. Place in a saucepan with 1 cup of vegetable stock and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then simmer for approximately 15 minutes until tender but not mushy. Remove the bay leaf and set aside for 20 minutes to cool slightly.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss together until evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve immediately with extra herbs and nuts sprinkled on top.