Rice is so versatile! Why stick with plain old steamed or boiled when you can create dishes like this!? Packed full of North African charm and flavour this silverbeet (chard) pilaf has an abundance of personality. Learn how to make this marvel at home…
I live for this Moroccan Silverbeet with Rice! This vegetable goes by so many names - Silverbeet, Swiss Chard, Lacinato Kale, Seakale Beet or just plain Kale (if you know of any more, let me know!). It comes in a variety of colours; I love the rainbow variety with yellow, pink, purple and white stems - it looks great both raw and cooked. Oh, and it tastes fantastic.
A healthy Moroccan inspired side dish
This dish is a Moroccan inspired side dish, with subtle North African and Mediterranean spice, flecked with nuts to add a wonderful flavour and texture. Silverbeet has a delicious earthy taste with sweet beetroot notes. And it's packed full of health benefits too - over 200% of your Vitamin K needs + many more. It's a delicious superfood and there are many reasons to eat Silverbeet/Swiss Chard.
This dish works well with other vegetables, with fish and seafood or meat - it's a great all-rounder. I made a delicious lamb tagine and this Moroccan Silverbeet with Rice was the perfect accompaniment. For more complimentary sides to this rice dish, see below.
Cooking in stock adds a tonne of flavour.
This dish is the same as a pilaf/pilau in that it's a flavoured rice dish cooked with stock. Cooking in stock gives the rice more layers of flavour. You can use any kind of stock you like, vegetable, chicken, beef or in the case of mine, lamb. I had some in the freezer (don't ask me how long it had been there) and it worked wonderfully. Using stock really elevates the taste, so even if you just use a stock cube, you'll transform the flavour.
Silverbeet, Swiss Chard, Lacinato Kale or Seakale Beet is a variety of beet and a close relative of spinach. There is no bulb, only leaves. For eating, you can eat the leaves and stems of the vegetable and eat raw or cooked.
Is Silverbeet healthy?
Silverbeet is very healthy! It's a good source of vitamins A, C, B6 and K (important for helping your blood to clot). It also contains riboflavin and folate and minerals such as potassium (which helps to regulate blood pressure) and manganese (involved in the regulation of brain and nerve function).
What does Silverbeet taste like?
It tastes like Spinach, only stronger. It has a subtle beetroot flavour. The stems are edible too. Just chop them like an onion and cook for a little longer than the leaves.
I don't have silverbeet what can I use instead?
For this recipe, your best option would be Kale or Tuscan Cabbage (Cavalo Nero).
How to make my Moroccan Silverbeet / Swiss Chard with Rice
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat - when hot add the onion and diced silverbeet stalks and fry for 3-4 minutes until softened.
Add the cumin, paprika and nuts and fry briefly before adding the silverbeet leaves.
Let the leaves sweat for 3-4 minutes and evaporate most of the liquid.
Tip in the rice and stir for a minute to combine everything. Pour in the stock and season generously with salt & pepper.
Bring the stock to a boil, without stirring, then reduce the heat to very low.
Cover the pan and cook for 12-15 minutes until all the stock has evaporated and the rice is JUST beginning to stick to the pan.
Remove from the heat, take off the lid and place a clean tea towel or strong paper towel over the pan. Return the lid. This will collect all the rising steam and stop it dripping back into the rice, which would make it wet and stodgy.
Leave the rice off the heat for 30 minutes before fluffing up with a fork.
To serve, sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds or fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro/coriander.
Serve hot or at room temperature.