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Rice Pilaf with Buttered Cavolo Nero and Roasted Garlic

Bursting with delicious buttery flavours and textural elements, this pilaf makes a wonderful side or standalone dish.

Rice Pilaf with Buttered Cavolo Nero and Roasted Garlic

Serves 2-4

1½ cups basmati (or long grain) rice

1½ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

80g butter, chopped

1 small onion, very finely diced

¼ cup pinenuts

¼ cup currants

8 green garlic stems with bulbs

200g cavolo nero leaves

½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated

Place rice in bowl and add enough water to cover. Swish grains to release excess starch. Pour off water, leaving rice in bowl. Repeat 4-5 times, until water runs almost clear.

Using a colander or sieve, drain water from rice. Bring 2¼ cups water to boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to the water; cover to keep hot.

Heat 60g butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes.

Add rice and stir to coat grains with butter. Cook until edges of rice grains begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add pinenuts and currants.

Stir hot seasoned water into rice; return to boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 16-18 minutes. Off the heat, remove lid and place clean kitchen towel folded in half over saucepan. Replace lid and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C. Place garlic bulbs and stems in a roasting dish lined with tin foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until tender and fragrant.

Heat remaining butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook cavolo nero leaves for 1-2 minutes or until just wilted. Add grated nutmeg and season to taste.

Fluff rice with fork. Divide between bowls and serve with garlic shoots and buttered cavolo nero.

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