May 28, 2008


I was looking through Serious Eats the other day reading an amusing article entitled “Top 10 ingredients I will never have in my kitchen” where various readers had posted their own lists of items related to the subject. It was funny to see that quite a few had coriander (cilantro) amongst their top 10. I was just wondering how can someone NOT like coriander??? I love that stuff! And I used it recently in a dish I prepared coupling it up with veal (tis the good season for veal on this side of the world) and asparagus (good season for asparagus too!). While I was eating I thought to myself again, how can someone not like coriander?! Is it a cultural thing? I mean, we use it quite a lot in our Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine and I would had never thought of, for instance, not using coriander for a lamb marinade, in meatballs or with fish.
Anyway, taking into account the anti-coriander movement, I am warning you from now: the recipe I’m posting today does contain coriander! Now for you coriander lovers out there, let me tell you that it went marvellously well with the veal, and overlapped nicely with the asparagus too. Because I’m a carbohydrate lover (carbs are not evil!) I also wanted to include some rice in this dish which I cooked following a method my mother has been using for years. It’s based on first frying angel hair until it turns golden before adding in the rice. I’ve always loved the colour fried angel hair can add to plain white rice- makes it look less boring I guess! Going a bit off-topic: in regards to the photos, unfortunately I am still struggling with lighting issues, and I wasn’t very lucky at the moment I was photographing this dish… nonetheless the most important is TASTE because as much as we eat with the eyes, our tastebuds deserve a treat too!
Above: frying the angel hair. Below: adding the rice and frying some more

Recipe for Veal with Coriander & Garlic, Angel Hair & Rice, Asparagus

Veal (scallops)
Fresh coriander, chopped
Garlic, crushed
Green asparagus
Angel Hair
White rice (preferably basmati)
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

How to make it:
Chop off the hard bits of the asparagus (the root-y bit). Optionally, you can cut off the triangular shaped leaflets too (keeping only the clustered ones at the top though- this is just for aesthetic purposes). Lay the asparagus in a pan, add hot water and let boil for about 6 minutes. In the meantime, drizzle and heat some olive oil in a pot. Then add some angel hair, let it become of a golden colour. Keep a close eye as angel hair can burn quite fast! Once it becomes golden, add the rice and stir for 1-2 minutes (basically you are frying angel hair and rice). Follow with water, cover pot, reduce heat and cook for about 10-15 minutes. With 5 minutes left to go for the rice, you can start with the veal. Drizzle and heat some olive oil in a pan, add the veal scallops on high heat first then reduce to lower heat for about 5 minutes (depends on how you like your veal). At the very end- and only at the very end- add the chopped coriander, crushed garlic, salt & pepper on high heat for about 1-2 minutes. You can also optionally add some cream too if you wish. Serve the veal with the angel hair & rice and asparagus- all at the right temperature.
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Peter M said...

Marianna, this is the 1st time I've seen the fried pasta and rice combo...the look is stunning and a thrill to taste, I'm sure.

You floor me with your cooking and I must invite myself over!

PS. although I eat tofu, it will never see my kitchen.

Peter G said...

Marianna, I love the fried angel hair in this dish! Wow! It's the first time I've seen it used in rice like that. And I agree, coriander is just wonderful.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Marianna, I ate this angel hair rice all my life but only when I was 20 or something I learned about its origin. My grandmother used to make it (and I make it, too), but she got a recipe from a friend and never knew where that dish came from.
That is such a beautifully presented meal!

Anonymous said...

For people with a cilantro allergy (a surprisingly high percentage of the population, and suspected of being genetic), cilantro is often described as tasting like soap, chemicals, or metals. I'd hate it too if it tasted like that to me. Thankfully it doesn't, and I love it.

Cindy. Lo. said...

It looks so delicious!

Anonymous said...

I've had this rice dish my entire life as well
My family is Iranian in origin and it's one of my dad's favorite foods.. it's traditionally served with stewed lamb

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

Marianna, that plate of food, belongs in a top class restaurant. Beautiful to behold and I'm sure divine to taste! - Street style & Fashion weeks in Paris said...


you can't imagine how happy you made me feel

thank you so much

i juste want to hulmanize fashion

and visiting your blog, you made me hungry !

i am ill today, but i want to keep in touch with you because we share the same sensitivity
and as i want to launche a website in englihs, i have some ideas....

i add you on my links if you don't mind

if you want to add mine (if not, it's ok) : STYLE AND THE CITY - PARIS

diva said...

wow angel hair!!
looks lovely. really good food going on here.

The Cooking Ninja said...

mmm...yummy. I have been looking for a recipe how to cook that rice combination ever since I had it at a restaurant. :)

Bakerette said...

now I never thought I would see roz b' she'reyya on a food blog, and you did it with such style! Coriander, ah of course it's a cultural thing!I have the seeds, the powder and the leaves...

Three-Legs Alice said...

omg my mom has made this rice for me ever since i could remember and it never occurred to me to find out what on earth those yummy golden strands were! and nooow i know :-D