Square One Rice

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

The only rice we use at the restaurant (other than Arborio for risotto) is basmati, a nutty-tasting long-grain rice preferred by Indians and Persians because it is the only rice that can be held for a while after cooking without becoming gummy or mushy. We have a special technique for preparing the rice that I think will work perfectly for you at home.


  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons salt, plus additional to taste
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Heat the water in a large pot to boiling. Add the salt and drop in the rice. Cook quickly over medium heat until a kernel just tests done when you bite it, about 10 minutes. It should be almost completely cooked. Immediately drain the rice and rinse with warm water.

Coat a shallow baking pan with some of the melted butter. Spread the rice in the pan. Season the remaining butter with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle over the rice. Cover the pan with foil and bake 25 minutes. Serve now or hold in a warm oven up to 15 minutes.