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Lior Lev Sercarz, from "Mastering Spice" by Lior Lev Sercarz
To get all the pleasure of artichokes without the pain of preparing spiky fresh ones, I pop open a can. Of course, fresh artichokes taste, well, fresher, but for this dish, canned artichokes soak up the seasonings and meld into the rice beautifully. Pumpkin puree takes the place of tomatoes here, resulting in a creamier dish with earthy warmth.
2 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds (5 grams)
2 ½ teaspoons fennel seeds (5 grams)
Pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (1 gram)
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper (1 gram)
Finely grind the coriander, fennel, and saffron together and immediately mix with the turmeric and Aleppo.
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 lemon, seeded and diced with rind on
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups Bomba rice
1 cup cooked chickpeas, homemade or canned, drained, and rinsed
Coat a large sauté pan with oil (2 to 3 tablespoons) and heat over medium-low heat. If you have a 16 to 18-inch paella pan, use it here; straddle the pan between two burners and rotate occasionally to ensure even cooking.
Add the onion, 2 pinches of the spice blend, and a pinch of salt. Stir well, spread in an even layer, and, if using a sauté pan, cover. Cook until the onion is just translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add the red and green bell peppers, 2 more pinches of the spice blend, and a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are bright, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover (if using a sauté pan), and cook until the peppers are almost tender, about 3 minutes. If the vegetables seem like they're burning, add a little more oil. Transfer vegetables to a plate.
Coat the pan generously with more oil (3 to 4 tablespoons) and raise the heat to medium-high. Add the artichoke hearts and diced lemon and season with salt. Stir well, spread in an even layer, and cover (if using a sauté pan). Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
Raise heat up to high. Add the pumpkin, rice, chickpeas, vegetables, 4 1/2 cups of cold water, the remaining spice blend, and a large pinch of salt. Stir continuously until the mixture is bubbling and the rice absorbs some of the liquid, about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the rice is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Raise heat to high and cook until a crust forms on the bottom of the rice, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, tent loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
We use this blue pan to make many of our recipes. If you're interested in purchasing it, you can find it here.