Persian Herb Chilau with Fresh Peas

From Food From Plenty by Diana Henry

-Pour 2 cups of white Basmati rice into a strainer and wash well until the water runs clear.

-Put the rice into a bowl and cover with water and let it soak for 2 hours. Wash and rinse again.

-Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, then add the rice.

-Cook for about 6-7 minutes then drain and rinse the rice in lukewarm water.

-Shell 1 pound of shell peas and chop up 1 bunch of fennel.

-Finely chop up ½ bunch of green onions and ½ bunch of cilantro.

-Toss the peas, fennel (if you are using it) and herbs together with a pinch of sea salt.

-Heat 3 TBS butter and ¼ cup olive oil in a large saucepan until foaming.

-Add half the drained rice, a pinch of sea salt and then half of the pea/herb mixture.


-Reduce the heat to very low and make 3 steam holes in the rice with the handle of a wooden spoon.

-Wrap the lid of the pan in a kitchen towel and put the covered lid on to the saucepan (the kitchen towel will stop the condensation from falling

back into the rice and making it soggy).

-Leave to cook for a further 20 minutes.

-Empty the rice into a bowl, making sure you dislodge “the lovely crispy bits at the bottom.”

-Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

Baked Risotto with Fennel, Peas, Fresh Garlic and Parmesan

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
-In a saucepan, combine 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and ½ cup of minced onion and 3 cloves minced garlic. 
-Cook for 3-4 minutes until onions and garlic are translucent.
-Add 1 cup Arborio rice and stir to coat. 
-Add 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock, 2 cups chopped snap peas or snow peas and 2 small chopped fennel bulbs.
-Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and then add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt.
-Transfer to a 1-quart soufflé dish and cover with another 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of finely chopped green onions and dill.
 -Bake for 35-40 minutes until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.