Shimon*, a master Jeweler from Tzfat, came to stay with me in Brooklyn, sometime in 2004. As it turned out, he was also a master cook. I sat with him one day and took notes as he prepared a Shabbat feast for us. Since then, I have lost the notes but try to prepare his dishes on occasion from memory. I know there is a step about lining the bottom of the pot with very thinly sliced potatoes for a crunchy bottom – but I fear I am forgetting something important so I’ll leave it out for now. As usual, I do not know the exact amounts of anything – unless of course, it’s something you can learn from a package (i.e. rice). Here is one of many to come, thanks to Shimon.
[*Shimon and I met in 1995 in Tzfat. I was on crutches due to the sprained ankle I acquired while climbing through a window and I would run (or whatever you call it when you rush by on crutches) by his Jewelry store and he’d yell, “Savlanut! Savlanut!” (Hebrew for patience)]
This should serve 4-6 people.
1. 1 cup of rice (I use sushi rice but your choice here)
2. 1 ½ cup water
3. ¼ white onion, finely chopped
5. Freshly ground pepper
6. Olive oil
7. A handful of pine nuts [This is my variation – you can use any nut. Cranberries are delicious.]
8. A dash of love (this, I remember Shimon being very specific about!)
Sauté the onions in olive oil until glassy, adding a dash of salt and pepper
Add 1 cup of RAW (this is important) rice and stir over very low heat for about 10 seconds
Pour 1 ½ cup of water and give it a little stir
Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
Meanwhile, in a small pan (or in a toaster oven on foil), heat pine nuts for about 5 minutes (or until they are dark) over a low flame
Once rice is ready, stir in pine nuts and serve!