Seriously Simple: Anyone lucky enough to taste this St. Patrick’s Day side dish will simply love it!
I often find myself looking for side dishes that can accompany main courses without overpowering them. This is a recipe that does just that. Rice and noodles combined with toasted pistachios, leeks and zucchini is one of my favorite year-round side dishes. It also is a two-in-one dish since the vegies are already in the rice. And it is perfect for St Patrick’s Day, with lots of green peeking through the rice and noodles.
Look for long-grain rice for this recipe. It has slender grains that stay separate and fluffy after cooking, which works well for side dishes or as a bed for sauces. Long-grain rice is fairly bland, so any flavorings added to it mingle nicely. There are other exotic long-grain rice varieties like basmati or jasmine rice, but they are more aromatic and have a nutty flavor. I prefer plain old American long-grain rice for this recipe.
Simple egg noodles work best for this recipe because they cook up in the same amount of time as the rice, arriving at a point where they’re soft but not mushy while maintaining their distinctive flavors. Look for fine egg noodles for this recipe.
Through years of rice-making I have found that sauteing the rice in oil for a few minutes until the kernels just become light brown adds additional richness. In this recipe we also saute the noodles to add extra texture and flavor. Sauteed leeks and zucchini along with toasted pistachios add a delightful crunch.
Pistachio and Vegetable Herbed Rice and Noodles
1/4 cup pistachios
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice