As a kid, I remember feeling a little burst of joy whenever the rice steamed and rested just long enough in the hot rice cooker to build up crispy little bits on the bottom.
My mom would scrape them up and pile them on my plate, knowing how much I couldn’t resist the juxtaposition of soft fluffy grains with cracklingly crunchy ones.
Later as an adult, when I first tasted tahdig, the Persian rice specialty that guarantees a bottom crust of full-on golden crunchiness, I was even more smitten.
Now comes “Rice Cake,” which much like this inverted dish itself, I’ve completely gone topsy-turvy for.
It’s Persian goes Italian.
Or tahdig in the spirit of risotto.
As it’s fortified with a load of butter, Parmesan, and creme fraiche.
This amazing recipe is in the new cookbook, “Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.
It’s by husband and wife, Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis, owners of the acclaimed Bavel and Bestia restaurants in Los Angeles. It was written in conjunction with Lesley Suter, the former food editor for Los Angeles magazine.Read more