Herb & Citrus-Scented Rice
This recipe riffs on the rice pilaf my mother made when I was a kid. She caramelized onions and garlic, then added water with chicken bouillon to basmati rice and let it simmer away, covered until the magic moment when the lid could be removed. This version is delicate and uses simply water to plump the rice. Fresh spring herbs, citrus zest, cardamom, and currants enliven it. I like it alongside crispy-skin seared salmon with roasted available vegetables, and I can easily envision it wrapped inside tubes of pickled grape leaves with a dessert of fresh pecan baklava drenched in orange blossom syrup. In front of me now is a bowl of this rice plus a few olives from Good Faith Farm; I am perfectly satisfied.
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Spring Panzanella with Thyme Croutons
I see a huge change in the local landscapes recently blackened and charred by fire. Once scars, these burned patches now hold the brightest and greenest tufts. Nature is resilient and so is our community. Thus the whole idea of spring: rebirth, regrowing, renewing life. I first made this panzanella salad on my 22nd birthday with my best friends from college. Now this recipe has cycled back to me as my 28th birthday looms, and I’ve made amendments as a reflection of the changing I’ve done throughout the years.
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