This is one of those 'what have I got in the fridge' recipes which turned out far better than I expected. I thought it would be simply a filling and quick vehicle for some great seasonal vegetables, on the table in fifteen minutes with leftovers for lunch.
But in fact it was better than that - fairly garlicky, (adjust if you have an important meeting / first date the following day), with lovely flavour from the fennel without being too 'anniseedy', (I'm not always a huge fennel fan but love it in this dish), and unexpected crunch from al-dente carrots and walnuts, with a zing of lemon juice and parsley to really finish it off.
Of course the 'fifteen minute' claim is dependent on your chopping skills, the heat of your hob (too high and it will stick, too low and it will take longer to cook), and of course on luck when it comes to cooking rice. so please don't e-mail me to complain that it took you 18.5 minutes.... this will be worth the wait, I promise!
Broad Bean, Fennel & Baby Carrot Pilaf
- 1 onion
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 tsp garlic purée / ready-chopped garlic (or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped)
- 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
- 200 g fresh or frozen broad beans (or a combination of broad beans and peas)
- 100 g baby carrots
- 200 g basmati rice (rinsed well under cold water)
- 400 ml vegetable stock
- 1 lemon
- 40 g walnuts
- handful fresh parsley
- Peel and slice the onion, trim and finely slice the fennel, and peel and peel and crush the garlic cloves. Heat the oil in a large lidded casserole dish or pan, and fry the onion, fennel and garlic for 2 minutes until starting to soften.
- Top and tail the baby carrots and slice in half lengthways. Add them to the pan along with broad beans and basmati rice, followed by the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium simmer, and cover and cook for 12 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Check the rice every few minutes towards the end of cooking, and if it is looking very dry add a little more water to the pan.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the walnuts and parsley leaves, and juice the lemon. When the pilaff is cooked, pour over the lemon juice and scatter over the walnuts and parsley. Taste and season as required. Serve immediately.