When the first small broad beans appear in Spring, nothing could better this simple pilaf with dill.
broad beans300g/10oz fresh or 200g/½lb frozen
stock or water
fresh dillahandful, chopped
Soak the rice in warm water for half an hour, and wash it until the water runs clear.
Pod the beans, if fresh, sweat them in a generous dollop (1tbsp) of butter for a minute or two, then add a splash of water and a pinch of salt and let them steam for a few minutes longer, until tender. Ideally you should remove the skins, but you needn’t bother unless they are old and tough, or you have the Validé herself, the sultan’s mother, coming to dinner. Set them aside.
Drain the uncooked rice. Melt the rest of the butter in a heavy pan, and stir in the rice over a low heat. After a few minutes, when the grains begin to stick, add salt and pour stock or water over the rice to barely cover.
Simmer gently until the liquid has all but disappeared. If you test the rice, it will still be nutty.
Gently stir the beans and half the chopped dill into the rice, and cover the pan with a cloth and a lid. Over a whisper of heat, let the rice steam for fifteen minutes. Sprinkle the rest of the dill on top, take the pan off the heat and let it stand in a warm place, covered, until you are ready to eat it.
Turn the rice out into a dish, helping to fluff it out with a fork.