Fig Leaf Coconut Rice

Fig Leaf Coconut Rice Recipe

Claudia Schwartz is the lovely, charming proprietress of Bell'occhio, one of the establishments that makes San Francisco special. I see Claudia nearly every Saturday morning, early, at the farmers' market. A few weeks back we had a chat about fig leaves. I had a few in my bag, and she told me she likes to simmer rice with a fig leaf on top. Brilliant. It was one of those things that had never occurred to me. Added to a pot of simmering grains, the fig leaf imparts a subtle flavor and perfume to the entire pot. The best way I can describe it - a bit green, and a bit nutty. But more like raw pepitas than walnuts. And coconut, but green coconut. There are some of those notes as well.

Coconut Rice RecipeCoconut Rice Recipe

I considered making a pearl barley risotto deploying the fig leaf technique, but kept thinking about how nice it would be to do a coconut rice. There was something about making a creamy rice preparation that seemed right here, either way. We ended up enjoying the fig-leaf infused coconut rice for lunch topped with a handful of simple toppings pulled together as the rice was simmering - lots of shredded scallions to add some bright, greenness and counter the creaminess of the rice. There were toasted pepitas, dried figs, and pan-fried tofu sliced into matchsticks.

Coconut Rice Recipe

With the fig leaf, or without, I can imagine this rice being an incredible base for a whole host of preparations - coconut fried rice, futomaki, you could do a twist on arancini. Keep in mind, you want to seek out unsprayed fig leaves. And, in addition to rice, you can also simmer them in the cream you use to make ice cream or gelato. It is (also!) on my list to use them to infuse some vodka - for fig leaf vodka tonics this summer.

Thank you for the inspiration on so many fronts Claudia! xo -h

Lastly this, a bit of a p.s. - Sarah Lonsdale did a great profile on Claudia for Remodelista a couple of years back.

Fig Leaf Coconut Rice

2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 fresh fig leaf, unsprayed

to serve: lots and lots of shredded scallions, toasted pepitas, sliced dried figs, and pan-fried tofu

Start by rinsing the rice. You can do this by putting the rice in the thick-bottomed pan it is going to cook in. Fill the pot halfway with water, swish the rice around (the water will get cloudy), and pour out the cloudy water. Repeat a few times.

To the rinsed (and drained) rice add the coconut milk, water, and salt. Stir to combine. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the liquid to a boil (uncovered). Stir once or twice to prevent the rice from scorching down at the bottom of the pot. Once the liquid comes to a boil reduce the heat to a low, low simmer, place the fig leaf on top of the simmering rice, and cover the pot tightly with a lid. Simmer until the grains are tender, the timing will differ based on your rice, but typically 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat, and allow to sit for ten minutes or so. Fluff with a fork, and your rice is ready to serve.

Serve topped with any or all of the following: lots and lots of shredded scallions, toasted pepitas, sliced dried figs, and pan-fried tofu.

Serves 4 to 6.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 50 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

I'll be making this today! I'm impatiently watching the figs ripen on five trees, so I'll gladly give one leaf a try in the meantime. I'm guessing you don't actually eat the leaves, but I'll do some more research for additional ideas. Hey, and if times get really bad, now I know we might make some money shipping fig leaves! Thanks Heidi!

Janet

This looks delicious. Do you have a source for the fig leaves? I shop every Saturday morning at the Ferry Plaza - Knoll is one of the vendors who sell figs but I've not seen fig leaves anywhere - or I've overlooked them - not surprising since I get there early and I'm often not quite awake :)

Nancy Walker

I'll be making this today! I'm impatiently watching the figs ripen on five trees, so I'll gladly give one leaf a try in the meantime. I'm guessing you don't actually eat the leaves, but I'll do some more research for additional ideas. Hey, and if times get really bad, now I know we might make some money shipping fig leaves! Thanks Heidi!

Janet

I've been wondering what I can do with my fig leaves...I'm going to try this dish.

Thanks for sharing such wonderful ideas! I have a beautiful fig tree in my back yard so i can´t wait to try this rice.

Definitely have to try this, since I have a fig tree. Sounds delicious!

Vickie

I've been to the SF farmer's market recently during a visit and wondered if you were there. I definately live in the wrong part of this continent! I love fig anything. I'd make this if I could find fig in Ohio. Love your creations Heidi!

Rennae

I've long been a fan of Dyptique's fig fragrance, so the thought of actually tasting its subtly green notes is very inspiring!

This looks delicious. Do you have a source for the fig leaves? I shop every Saturday morning at the Ferry Plaza - Knoll is one of the vendors who sell figs but I've not seen fig leaves anywhere - or I've overlooked them - not surprising since I get there early and I'm often not quite awake :)

Nancy Walker

I have a huge fig tree with loads of leaves (and fig buds!) in my backyard. I would never have thought it do this. Thank you as always, Heidi!

I'm growing a fig plant right now! I didn't know you could eat the leaves?

WOW!!! this looks so delicious! x laura&nora

I love coconut rice. Though I have never tried fig leaf, through your magical description, I can totally imagine how divine this rice must be. Can't wait to get some fig leaves on hand to try this. Thank you for the inspiration.

This looks simply wonderful! It's incredible how well a dish with just a handful of ingredients can turn out! Unfortunately, I don't think they sell fig leaves here in Glasgow, I have never come across them before anyway. If I do though, I will definitely make sure to bring some home with me, I'm so curious about the flavour! Sounds delicious :) x

The fig leaf is so pretty and I'm fascinated by the idea of cooking with it. The creamy rice looks like a lovely lunch.

Beautiful! Coconut rice is one of my favorite dishes and this version looks and sounds delicious.

I love coconut rice – definitely one of my favourite ways to eat brown rice these days. The tip of the fig leaf is genius, and I know exactly where to find some for the purpouse. The additions sound fantastic, too, especially the dried figs – I am very intrigued.

This is such a pretty rice salad. I can imagine the flavour you describing of the coconut mixing with those fig leaves. Love you additional suggestions Fig leave ice cream? Genius!

could you tell me a bit of what all you do for your pan fried tofu? thanks !

eve

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