Last Friday, I had a bad craving for a “fried” meal. It happens. You stay away from something you used to enjoy eating and, at some point, you get a craving. I’m no angel so I’m not exempt from this very human weakness. And I admit it — that’s why I’m learning to bake with substitutes so I don’t have to give up the cakes and cookies and pastries. So, I wanted something fried for lunch. I had thawed a 250-gram salmon fillet overnight in the fridge and I knew I was going to fry it and eat half of it for lunch. And some eggplants too. But I didn’t want to cheat so badly (just a little?) so I fried both the fish and the eggplants in olive oil.
Thing is, there was still some olive oil left in the pan after the salmon and the sliced eggplants were done. That leftover oil had been flavored with the salmon and… why waste it? I remembered the herb-loaded rice from long ago and decided I’d do it again — this time, using a different combination of fresh herbs. What did I have? Lots, actually. Most of the herbs had been replanted in pots so I can bring them when we move. But there are still lots growing directly in the soil. Why not consume them during our last few days in this house?
Herb-loaded rice, version 2
Heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the herbs and garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute to a minute and a half. Turn up the heat to medium, add the cooked rice (doesn't matter if it's warm or cold so long as it isn't watery or sticky), sprinkle the salt over everything and toss until the herbs are nicely distributed among the rice grains. If using cold rice, you'll have to cook a little longer to make sure it is heated through.
And that's it! The eggplants and salted salmon may be "plain" but served with herbed rice, the meal becomes more exciting.