I decided to make this Lebanese rice recipe to go along with the Mediterranean Style Leg of Lamb Recipe with Potatoes. I debated whether or not to make rice with a recipe that already included potatoes, but I’m glad I did. This recipe made a delicious side dish and a beautiful presentation for the lamb.
This is a simple three-ingredient side dish of broken vermicelli pasta, rice and olive oil. Add a few toasted pine nuts, and you have the best side of rice!
It’s tough to get much simpler than 4 ingredients. I had the olive oil and pine nuts in my pantry, so all I had to pick up was the rice and vermicelli. The broken vermicelli, by the way, wasn’t on the rice and pasta aisle of my local Publix grocery store. Instead, I found it on the international foods aisle with the Mexican foods.
Preparing this recipe was simple and took me 44 minutes to complete. It does require some care when toasting the vermicelli and pine nuts. I wasn’t sure how toasted vermicelli should look, and the author’s tutorial with pictures (shown just after the recipe) really helped.
Another key step is rinsing the rice thoroughly. You might be familiar with this step if you have ever prepared basmati rice. The water will start out very cloudy, and you want to take the time to rinse until the water runs clear (it took me about 5 minutes). This step helps keep your Lebanese rice from getting too sticky like sushi rice.
Finally, I used 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt for step 3. The author doesn’t specify a quantity for this recipe, but that seemed safe with such a starchy dish. I found it was perfect and didn’t need to add salt to the finished dish.