Thursday, February 28, 2013

Married Pilaf -- Garbanzo Beans and Rice

When we lived in Athens, Thea was just a baby. When we would pull up to the never-changing light at the corner of Souvlaki Kiffisias, she would point at the pig on their sign and shout "cute red pig!" This taverna was famous for their great souvlakia, flambes and pantremeni (married), or garbanzo beans with rice. It is the first and only place I've had pantremeni, and so I always think of "The Cute Red Pig"(that eventually became just "The Pig"), now that Yannis has told me how to make this recipe at home. I love serving pantremeni as a cold salad, adding more lemon oil ,and fresh spring onions just before serving. It may not be a marriage made in heaven, but it sure is the perfect combination of garbanzo beans and rice at The Pig and on our table tonight!

Married Pilaf -- Garbanzo Beans and Rice
6-8 servings
1 lb. garbanzo beans, soaked overnight in salted water
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 Tables. butter
3 fresh onions, finely chopped
1 Tables. fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

Cook the beans in plenty of water, without salt. When they come to a boil, scrape off the foam from the top of the water. Add the bay leaf and continue simmering for 45-60 minutes, drain, keeping 3 cups of the water. In a large casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat, saute the onion and rice in the oil for 10 minutes or until the rice is golden brown. Add the beans,salt and pepper, butter and 2 glasses of the saved water. Cover and cook another 20 minutes. This dish should be juicy, so if it gets dry, add more water. Add the lemon and parsley or oregano if you like. This dish is served room temperature as a side dish or cold as a starter/salad..adding more olive oil and lemon when served. 

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