I live for this Moroccan Silverbeet with Rice! This vegetable goes by so many names - Silverbeet, Swiss Chard, Lacinato Kale, Seakale Beet or just plain Kale (if you know of any more, let me know!). It comes in a variety of colours; I love the rainbow variety with yellow, pink, purple and white stems - it looks great both raw and cooked. Oh, and it tastes fantastic.
A healthy Moroccan inspired side dish
This dish is a Moroccan inspired side dish, with subtle North African and Mediterranean spice, flecked with nuts to add a wonderful flavour and texture. Silverbeet has a delicious earthy taste with sweet beetroot notes. And it's packed full of health benefits too - over 200% of your Vitamin K needs + many more. It's a delicious superfood and there are many reasons to eat Silverbeet/Swiss Chard.
This dish works well with other vegetables, with fish and seafood or meat - it's a great all-rounder. I made a delicious lamb tagine and this Moroccan Silverbeet with Rice was the perfect accompaniment. For more complimentary sides to this rice dish, see below.
Cooking in stock adds a tonne of flavour.
This dish is the same as a pilaf/pilau in that it's a flavoured rice dish cooked with stock. Cooking in stock gives the rice more layers of flavour. You can use any kind of stock you like, vegetable, chicken, beef or in the case of mine, lamb. I had some in the freezer (don't ask me how long it had been there) and it worked wonderfully. Using stock really elevates the taste, so even if you just use a stock cube, you'll transform the flavour.
This tasty Silverbeet/Swiss Chard dish works well alongside a variety of dishes. Mediterranean, Middle Easter and North African dishes will all pair perfectly. Try it alongside my Middle Eastern Lamb Kebabs, my Turkish Lamb Kebabs with Caul Fat or my Grilled Lamb with Za'atar & onion. You could also pair it with the delicious Spanish Chicken Skewers with Fino Sherry. Other side dishes to pair with this pilaf: Turkish Carrot Salad, Turkish Beetroot & Yoghurt Dip, Tomato Salad and Turkish Bean Salad (Piyaz) are all perfect partners.
How to make my Moroccan Silverbeet / Swiss Chard with Rice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion (finely diced)
- 1 bunch of silverbeet (leaves removed from stems then chopped)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 cup unsalted pistachio nuts (de shelled)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup basmati rice (or long grain rice)
- 2 1/2 cup stock
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat - when hot add the onion and diced silverbeet stalks and fry for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add the cumin, paprika and nuts and fry briefly before adding the silverbeet leaves. Let the leaves sweat for 3-4 minutes and evaporate most of the liquid.
- Tip in the rice and stir for a minute to combine everything. Pour in the stock and season generously with salt & pepper. Bring the stock to a boil, without stirring, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pan and cook for 12-15 minutes until all the stock has evaporated and the rice is JUST beginning to stick to the pan.
- Remove from the heat, take off the lid and place a clean tea towel or strong paper towel over the pan. Return the lid. This will collect all the rising steam and stop it dripping back into the rice, which would make it wet and stodgy. Leave the rice off the heat for 30 minutes before fluffing up with a fork.
- To serve, sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds or fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro/coriander. Serve hot or at room temperature.
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