foodFood & Drink

In the Kitchen With: The Best of our Rice Dishes

by Kristina Gill


When I discovered the bulk bins at Bread & Circus (which would later become Whole Foods) many moons ago, I became obsessed with trying all the different rice from all over the world that they had on offer. It opened up a new frontier for me, and was one of many factors which fueled my love of cookbooks. Over the years on the In the Kitchen With column, we have had some great rice recipes which use different varieties of rice, and different cooking methods. The recipes we’ve collected here are also great for warmer weather because they don’t require the use of the oven. –Kristina

Danielle Chang, founder of Lucky Rice, shared her method for making Perfect Steamed Rice, a great starting point for anyone who loves short-grain rice. Leftover steamed rice is the base for her fried egg-topped Indonesian Fried Rice, also known as Nasi Goreng, a simple dish with layers of flavor and texture.


Aarti Sequeira, TV personality and cookbook author, shared her method for Perfect Basmati Rice, a great place for long-grain rice fans to start building their home-cooking arsenal. Like Danielle’s fried rice, Aarti’s leftover basmati is the base for her Luca-Lucica Fried Rice (Indian-Style Fried Rice with Chorizo, Peanuts and Mustard Seeds). Both Aarti and Danielle specify that using cold leftover rice is essential for making great fried rice.


Artist and nature-lover Jill Bliss was one of our very early contributors to the In the Kitchen With column, and shared her recipe for Vegetarian Sushi, a recipe I use quite often at home! She includes the cooking method for the sushi rice.


Moving from Asia to Europe, the most popular origin of rice used on our column has been Italian. We love our risottos! They are the perfect way to incorporate your favorite seasonal ingredients, no holds barred! This recipe for Suppli’, fried rice balls, can use freshly made but refrigerated risotto, or can use up leftovers.


Another classic Italian recipe, Wild Mushroom Risotto, shared with us by photographer Jennifer Martine can use fresh or dried mushrooms, depending on what you have available.


Multitalented Pia Jane Bijkerk shared a great Pea, Mint, and Feta Risotto with us in our early days, as well. Her use of feta cheese illustrates just how versatile the dish is, even when combining non-Italian cheeses.


Our dear friend Sweet Paul also shared a risotto recipe for Spinach and Scallion Risotto which he topped with crispy prosciutto crudo. His addition of scallions to the usual onion base, and the crispy prosciutto make this risotto a slam dunk for me!


Wrapping up the Italian rice recipes is a quintessential summer dish for Romans, Pomodori col Riso, or rice-stuffed tomatoes. It can be very tricky to get the rice cooked properly here, so you might definitely try boiling your rice for a bit before you fill the tomatoes, or you can use a parboiled rice in a pinch.


On our final leg of our rice recipe tour, we stop in the United States. Soul food scholar and James Beard Award winner, Adrian Miller, shared a Catfish Curry with us. Fish curries he wrote, were popular Big House dishes in the Antebellum south, which were later adopted by black families. He serves his curry over boiled rice.


Last but definitely not least in our archives, cookbook author and media maven Nicole Taylor brought us a recipe using a variety of American rice which Anson Mills refers to as “the grandfather of long-grain rice in the Americas”. Nicole’s recipe for Carolina Gold Rice and Harissa Chickpeas is great any time of year, and I love it served as a hot dish or at room temperature.


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