This is how I know I’m a true Barefoot Contessa junkie. I was trying to come up with a side dish or two for the Indonesian Ginger Chicken we made the other night, and my first thought was that it would go nicely with a light rice. So I grabbed the Barefoot library and began searching the indexes. I quickly came upon this recipe…and I broke into a big grin when I read Ina’s intro note:

“Years ago, I was making a side dish at Barefoot Contessa and I didn’t think it had enough flavor. My wonderful chef Martine Sharp said something I’ve never forgotten. She told me that if every dish on your plate hits you in the head with flavor, it will give you a headache. Some tastes need to be quiet in order to balance with others that are strong. When I’m making Indonesian Ginger Chicken (The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook) or Loin of Pork with Fennel (page 104), this rice plays a perfect supporting role.”

Bingo! Howdaya like that!

This dish is a breeze. Zack and I teamed up ““ he cooked the rice while I minced up the herbs, and then he added all the greenery and fluffed it up for serving. Basmati has such a nutty, buttery flavor itself, and the herbs enhanced the long grains without overpowering them. Not only was it a lovely dish in and of itself, but Ina was absolutely right ““ it was a perfect counterpoint to the boldly flavored chicken.

The third dish we made that evening was a pretty schizophrenic choice to serve with the Eastern-influenced dinner…but ever so scrumptious! Stay tuned…

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