Fancy food without fuss

Arlene Thompson. INLT-11-11-10 600-CON

Arlene Thompson. INLT-11-11-10 600-CON

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Add colour and style to a laid-back barbecue menu - it’s fancy food minus the fuss!

Rice salad with apricots and almonds

750ml hot water

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

400g Basmati Rice

1 orange

75g flaked almonds

160g dried apricots, thinly sliced lengthways

115g dried cranberries

115g pistachio kernels, coarsely chopped

1. Combine the water and saffron in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Stir in the rice. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside, covered, for 10 minutes to stand. Use a fork to separate the grains. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, use a zester, or a vegetable peeler and a small sharp knife, to cut the orange rind into thin strips. Cook the almonds in a medium frying pan over medium heat, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

3. Add the orange rind, almonds, apricot, cranberries and pistachio to the rice mixture and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook’s tip: For extra flavour, stir through some chopped parsley or mint, the juice from the orange and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.