Thanks to an unfailing supermarket, I do not splurge on seafood frequently. So you’d think that when I did, the seafood, tilapia, in this case, would be the star of this show.

And while it is incredibly delicious — baked only with lime zest and butter it had been the out-of-this-world orange cashew rice that had me craving more.

An odd combination (don’t be skeptical!), this rice is unbelievably delicious that even my mainstream willing-to-eat-hot-dogs-for-every-meal-husband was begging me to make it again the next night.

Basmati rice simmers in orange juice, zest, and water, and is then tossed with roasted cashews, freshly grated red and yellow peppers, green onions, and sweet mandarin orange segments.

It’s fresh and light and so yummy, it left me wondering why I’ve never simmered rice in orange juice before!

While it had been excellently served with fragile fish, then it would also be fantastic with any lean meat, poultry or pork, or served as a vegetarian weeknight meal.

A delightfully healthy and refreshing meal, the two elements are sure to be making a comeback. Meanwhile, I will continue to dream about this rice each day until we create it.

It is that great.

ORANGE CASHEW RICE

Ingredients

  • FOR THE RICE:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped red peppers
  • 3 green onions minced
  • 1 8-ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained well
  • FOR THE TILAPIA:
  • 4 6 to 8 ounce each tilapia fillets
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lime finely grated zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter cut into 4 pieces

Instructions

  • For your rice, at a 2-quart saucepan, bring the orange, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil and salt to a boil. Stir in the rice. Cover the saucepan and lower the heat to a gentle simmer, simmering the rice for 25-30 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has completely evaporated. Add the cashew pieces, peppers and green onions. Season with pepper and salt and add the drained orange sections to the corn, folding them in gently to avoid the apples from breaking.
  • For the tilapia, while the rice simmers, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and coat a 9-10 inch cast iron pan with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse the tilapia and pat dry. Put the fish from the cast iron pan in one layer. Season each fillet on both sides with pepper and salt. Sprinkle lime peel over the fish and garnish with lime juice. Serve rice and fish immediately, spooning pan juices , if desired.
  • In case you don't have basmati rice available, you can try substituting long grain white rice as it has the same fundamental rice-to-liquid ratio.

Notes

Also, if your cashews are untoasted/unroasted, only scatter them into a skillet and toast them for a couple of minutes on the stovetop for a couple minutes till golden.