- A pinch saffron threads
- 450g long grain rice (well rinsed and drained)
- 2 tablespoons barberries
- 2 tablespoons golden sultanas
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Knob of butter
- 120g blanched almonds (roughly chopped)
- 120g unsalted pistachios (roughly chopped)
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1-2 teaspoons ground allspice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Half a big bunch of flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- Bunch of mint (finely chopped)
- Honey to drizzle
How to make
Soak the saffron threads in a tablespoon of hot water for 5 minutes. Pour 600ml water into a large, heavy based pan and bring to the boil with a pinch of salt.
Stir the rice in with the saffron threads (and soaking water). Continue to boil for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
Turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean tea towel, put on the lid and leave the rice to steam for a further 10 minutes.
Put the barberries and sultanas in a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain and put aside.
In a wide, heavy-based pan, heat up the oil with the butter and stir in the nuts until they begin to colour and emit a lovely aroma. Add in the dried apricots, barberries and sultanas for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the ground allspice.
Tip the rice into the pan and toss it carefully, making sure it is thoroughly mixed with the fruit and nuts. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and mix in most of the herbs.
Spoon the festive rice onto a serving dish. Drizzle a little honey over the top and garnish with the rest of the herbs. Keep warm.
Serve the rice with the meatballs and the cucumber and yogurt salad.