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Salmon with Dill Rice and Lima Beans

2 pounds salmon, sliced
5 tablespoons lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons crushed nonroasted pistachio nuts

Rinse salmon. In a large piece of aluminum foil, place the fish skin side down. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Close the aluminum foil and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. You can do this in the morning and every now and then, turn it over.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake fish in oven for about 40 minutes. Unwrap the fish and broil for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown. Garnish with nonroasted crushed pistachio nuts.

Dill Rice and Lima Beans

2 1/2 cups long grain basmati rice
1 (10-ounce) box frozen lima beans, thawed and rinsed
4 to 5 tablespoons dried dill (can also use fresh)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (use sparingly)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 3 tablespoons hot water
2 flour tortillas, cut into triangles

Clean, wash and rinse the basmati rice. In a nonstick pot, place the rice with 6 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil for 6 to 10 minutes, stirring gently with a wooden spoon (see note). Bite a few grains. If rice is half cooked (not too soft), it is ready to be drained. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. Clean the pot.

To form a crispy golden crust (tah dig), add the cooking oil to the pan, 1 teaspoon of saffron and 3 teaspoons water and mix well. Don't push it down. Place a layer of flour tortillas, add a spatula of rice, a layer of lima beans, and sprinkle a small amount of dill and a dash of cumin. You can also use potatoes or pita bread instead of tortillas. Repeat these layers of rice, lima beans, dill and cumin until all the ingredients are used.

To serve, dish out the rice in a serving dish. Mix a small amount of the rice with the remaining saffron and over the top of the rice. This gives a beautiful color to the rice. Remove the crust from the bottom of the pot and place it around the serving dish.

Note: To give a golden color to the rice, add a teaspoon of saffron before adding the rice to the pot. For best results, make a pyramid of rice in the pot. Place the pot on medium heat and let the rice mixture brew for 10 minutes. Lower the heat and let the rice brew for another 30 to 40 minutes.

Soheila Lunney

Thursday, January 10, 2002

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