Buttery rice, frazzled onions, chewy barberries, briny feta, crunchy walnuts, lots of dill, and a tin of our meaty octopus come together to make a flavorful and satiating dish.
1/2 cup white rice
1 bay leaf
Sea salt to season
2 tablespoons salted butter, add room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tin Ekone Octopus, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons dried currants or barberries
⅓ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of one lemon, preferably a meyer lemon
½ cup roughly chopped dill, plus a few sprigs for garnish
1 teaspoon aleppo pepper
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Bring a pot of water to a boil. When boiling, season with a tablespoon of salt. Add the rice and bay leaf to the boiling water, and cook until the rice is al dente. When cooked, strain the rice, and return it to the warm pan (the heat on your burner should no longer be on, we’re just utilizing the residual warmth of the pan to help melt the butter into the rice). Add the butter to the rice, and gently fold it in to melt through. Set the rice aside.
Place a medium to large frying pan over medium heat. When hot but not smoking, add the olive oil, red onion, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally to help ensure even browning, until the onions are in equal parts tender and golden. We prefer our “frazzled” onions to teeter on the edge of burnt, so don’t be shy to let your onions take on a bit more color than you might be accustomed to.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked buttery rice with the frazzled onions, dried currants, chopped walnuts, lemon zest and juice, dill, and aleppo. Mix well to incorporate, and taste for seasoning. Add another pinch of salt if the flavors aren’t popping.
To serve, transfer the rice mixture to a serving platter and scatter over the crumbled feta. Garnish generously with picked sprigs of dill.