Rice is one of my favorite sides with almost anything. Given a chance to make a side dish, I usually think of it first. So last night I was short a few ingredients that I usually make rice pilaf with, like onions or shallots and chicken broth, and adapted a standard recipe and ended up making it more interesting. What I used instead was garlic and vegetable broth and I added bay leaves on top as they perfumed the rice with that wonderful intangible aromatic scent that made the rice taste just a bit mysterious. I was so delighted with the rice that I had to share it with you and will definitely make it again and again!
Rice Pilaf with Bay Leaves
1 cup Basmati (or Jasmine) Rice
1 3/4 cup Vegetable Broth (can also use Chicken Broth)
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Tablespoon Butter (can also use Olive Oil if you are vegan)
2 Bay Leaves
In a Saucepan, heat the butter until melted. Add the garlic cloves and cook, stirring until they just begin to start to turn color. Add the Rice and coat with the butter. Cook until the rice looks opague. Then pour in the Vegetable Broth and bring to a a boil. Turn down heat to simmer, cover the rice and cook for 15 - 20 minutes. Serve with the Bay Leaves on top.
Five Element Analysis
Rice belongs to the Metal Element and the Garlic and Bay Leaves add even more. The Butter brings in only a hint of the Water Element along with the broth, but the vegetables in the broth contribute a little bit of Wood, Fire and Earth. However, this dish is considered primarily Metallic so use it to add the Metal Element to a meal incorporating the other elements more strongly to find a Five Element balance.