dried smyrna figs

Smyrna figs are the green ones (beige when they’re dried). Compared to purple or black varieties, green tend to be moister and sweeter. Sort of like peaches vs. nectarines.

Amanda says that this whole-grain rice tastes great, looks awesome, and cooks in only twenty minutes.  Himalayan red rice is an ancient short-grain rice grown 8,000 feet up in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.  Irrigated with 1,000-year old glacier water rich in trace minerals, this exotic rice has a nutty flavor, soft texture and beautiful red russet color.  So sayeth websites that rave about the rice.  And, yes, we stock it in our bulk bins.  A hand-crafted, heirloom rice, grown without pesticides and herbicides.  You’ll like it!

Serves 4 – 6

1 large yam, diced (about 4 C) ¼ lb dried Smyrna figs
Pinch sea salt 1 C chopped red onion
2 C Himalayan red rice ½ C lemon juice
3½ C water 1 tsp EACH salt and pepper
¾ C sliced almonds 1 tsp Chinese five-spice mix
1 C celery, chopped ½ C EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
½ C chopped parsley

Soak dried figs in warm water at least 10 minutes.

Put the diced yam in a pot with a little salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook 15 minutes, until it’s tender but still a little crisp.

Put rice and water in another pot.  Bring to a boil, turn flame down to a strong simmer.  Set timer for 15 minutes.  Check rice and add a little extra water if it looks really dry.  Cook five minutes more.  Remove pot from heat.  Leave cover on if you prefer a softer rice.  Remove cover for al dente.

Put almonds on a baking sheet, set a timer for ten minutes, and toast at 350 degrees in oven or keep your nose handy; as soon as you can smell those nuts, they’re done.   Be careful not to burn them!

Chop celery and parsley, slice those figs, and set all aside.  Chop red onion and place in a bowl with the lemon juice, salt, pepper and Chinese five-spice mix. Whisk together, and keep whisking as you drizzle in the olive oil.  Now add yams, cooked rice, celery, figs and parsley.  Toss to coat completely (Debra likes to toss using a rubber spatula).

Serve warm with toasted almonds on top. Great with a peppery arugula salad!