This herb pilaf recipe is a simple dish worth building into your repertoire. It is good for lunch or supper on its own, or can be served in smaller quantities with a grilled chicken breast or escalope of veal.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
40 g butter
2 tablespoons watercress leaves, finely chopped
1 cup spring onion, including green tops, finely chopped
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves, washed, dried and finely chopped
1 cup long-grained rice
1½ cups water, or chicken stock
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese, or freshly grated pecorino cheese
Heat oil and half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan.
Add watercress, spring onion and spinach and cook for a few minutes, stirring. Add rice and cook, stirring, until grains look shiny and are flecked with green. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil over a moderate heat, then turn heat to very low, cover pan and transfer it to a simmer mat and cook undisturbed for 20 minutes.
Stir parsley, coriander and remaining butter into rice with a fork. Turn into a hot serving dish, grind on pepper and pass cheese separately.