Friday, May 31, 2013


Eastside Road, May 31, 2013—
VARIOUS TYPES OF PILAF: Rice, of course — apparently the only authentic pilaf involves rice:
The English term pilaf is borrowed directly from the Turkish, pilav, which in turn comes from (Classical) Persian polow (پلو), and ultimately derives from Sanskrit pulāka- (पुलाक), "lump of boiled rice".
(Not to offend any visiting Polish readers, I wonder if that's also the etymology of the derogatory "Polack".)

Well, my aversion to rice is fairly well known by now. There are exceptions, of course: a good risotto is a favorite dinner of mine, and even the time-honored rice salad can be nice on a hot summer day, if you don't have something better, like a Niçoise, to mention only one.

In general, though, I prefer pilafs made with wheat or farro or, as we had tonight, barley. Cook makes this every now and then; it's a stock item in her repertoire, and I love it: barley cooked in salted water, browned butter and chopped scallions and black pepper added at the end to flavor it. It's not even cooked in stock, so technically I suppose it's twice removed from pilaf. Still, that's what I call it. Buttered barley pilaf. Green salad afterward.
Grenache blanc, Preston of Dry Creek, 2010: the wrong wine for the dish — a light red would have been better — but we had to finish the bottle.

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