Rice with Herb Oil

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Rice with Herb Oil

What’s your go-to side dish?  Mine is rice.  I could eat rice every day in every way.  It is so versatile, it goes with everything.  I like it plain, but it’s even better jazzed up.  So, I was gazing out my window looking at my herb garden thinking…something out there wants to jazz up my rice. 

Now, I don’t know about you, but one kind of recipe that I bookmark all the time is ways to use my herbs.  I bookmark vinegars, rice dishes, couscous, pasta, pestos, sauces, salsas, to name a few!  The problem is that in the middle of summer when faced with a rampant running wild herb garden, I can’t find what I want to make.  So, I’ve started a conscientious effort when I find an herb recipe, I make it.  Just leave the book sitting open on the counter, until I make it.  That’s what I did with this.  I came across this recipe for rice with herb oil in How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Foodby Mark Bittman, and I thought, this is it.  This is what I’ve been looking for.  Completely simply and wonderfully intuitive.  Since the first herb I came to was garlic chives, that’s what I used. 

 Herb oil

This was wonderful.  A great way to use your herbs and spice up your rice a bit.  It doesn’t really make the rice overpowering, it’s just enough to elevate it to another level.  The only subs I did was use a rice cooker, and simply stirred in the oil at the end.

Rice with Pesto or Herb Oil

  • 1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil (I used olive oil!)
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati or other long grain rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of pesto or 1 cup of fresh herbs (chives, parsley, chervil, or cilantro and 1/4 cup neutral oil – again I used extra virgin olive oil)

Heat the tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the rice and stir until rice is coated.  Add the water and salt and pepper.  Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat to medium – low.  (Or use your rice cooker)!!

While the rice is cooking, place your herb in a food processor and while it’s running gradually add the oil.  Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if you need to.  If necessary add a tablespoon or two of water, you want it to have the texture of heavy cream.

After 15 minutes, turn off the heat under the rice, but leave the cover on.  Wait 10 minutes and then stir in your herb oil, check the seasonings and serve.

This will be submitted for  I Heart Cooking Clubs!  The theme this week was for Girl’s Night In.  I had no idea what that means, but if left to my own devices for a night in, it would include rice.  So there.

And for Side Dish Showdown created by Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice!


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  1. says

    I love rice too! I’ve been eating it a lot more lately for some reason. One of my favorites is cilantro rice…but I think chive rice could become a close second!

  2. says

    Good Morning, Pam,
    Rice is so easy to do as a side dish…especially when you are grilling salmon or a pork chop. I’m going to try this with my fresh basil.

    Have a thoughtful Thursday. ~Natalie

  3. says

    Agree 100% on rice. I do a version where you cook it in coconut milk — toss in some fresh herbs at the end and it is amazingly rich and delicious. And now I am going to try your great version!

  4. says

    The bread pudding looks good, Pam. I posted our recipe for it a while back…from one of Nora Ephron’s books, actually. It’s a gem.

    I love your idea for perking up your rice! And nice way to use your garden herbs.

  5. says

    I love rice so much, and this sounds fabulous. I have some basil oil I made a while back…I may have to try it with some rice soon.

  6. says

    Oh ya, rice rules. It’s a standard side with meals in this house. One of my favorites is just plain white rice mixed with olive oil, parsley and lemon juice. I’ve also been known to mix in some dried cranberries and pistachios at the end.

    What’s the saying? “10 billion people can’t be wrong” True.

  7. says

    I’m not a huge fan of rice but I can see this herb oil on pasta or in a barley dish. Reminds me that I really need to get out to my herb garden and see what’s going on out there!

  8. says

    I made Bittman’s herb drizzle oil a while back and used it on pasta but rice would be delicious. Your go-to comfort food is a perfect Girls Night In choice. 😉

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