I like to impulse buy unusual items from grocery stores -- foods I've never heard of and ingredients I don't know how to use. Recently, I found a package of Goji berries -- some kind of dried red berry, about the size of a cranberry, but drier looking.
I've since learned that the goji berry is one of many new health-food crazes, being touted as a way to stave of cancer and "boost your immune system." (For more on why you may not even want to boost your immune system, read this.)
Despite this trendy claims, I found many references to the Goji berry being a traditional part of eastern diets. And, I had picked it up in a Mediterranean market, where it is often used like a cranberry -- as a source of both tartness and sweetness.
I tried this rice dish, which I found to be quite lovely. Highly recommended!
Goji Berry and Green Pea Pilau
1 T olive oil
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seed
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
1 c basmati rice
1 3/4 c water
1/2 tsp salt
1 small handful goji berries, dried
1 handful green peas, fresh or frozen
Pour olive into in a deep saucepan. Add cinnamons tick and cumin seeds and cook until seeds begin to pop -- 2-3 minutes.
Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add carrot and cook 2-3 minutes more.
Add rice and water and bring to a boil.
Lower heat, cover and let cook 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and add goji berries and peas on top of the rice.
Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.