How to Cook Red Camargue Rice

by A.J. Andrews

Items you will need

  • Mesh strainer
  • Saucepan or pot
  • Cold water or stock
  • Thick tea towel or kitchen towel

France usually doesn't come to mind when the topic of cooking rice comes up, but Camargue red isn't a usual rice, either. Camargue red is an organic rice cultivated in the Camargue region of France, near Provence. Location makes Camargue red different from other rice; the Rhone irrigates the paddies, and Mistral wind and Mediterranean sun dry the grains. Camargue red gets its color from pigments in the germ, which remains undisturbed during harvest. You have to cook Camargue red using a combination simmering-steaming method, and, because of the intact germ, you can expect a tender but satisfyingly toothsome bite.

Step 1

Rinse the Camargue rice in a mesh strainer under cold running water until the water runs clear. Drain the rice and add it to a saucepan or pot.

Step 2

Cover the rice with a few inches of cold water or stock and season it to taste. Camargue rice will almost absorb an equal amount of water, and you need enough to keep it boiling continuously for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Bring the stock or water to a boil and cook the Camargue rice for 30 minutes. Drain the Camargue rice in a mesh strainer for about 10 seconds and return it to the saucepan.

Step 4

Cover the saucepan with a thick tea towel or a folded kitchen towel. Place a heavy lid or cover on the saucepan and set it aside off the heat.

Step 5

Allow the Carmague to sit for 10 minutes to steam, then fluff it with a fork. Drizzle olive oil or a little butter over the rice and work it in with a fork, if desired.

Tips

  • If you want the Carmague rice a little softer, steam it as much as 5 minutes longer. The starch really comes out when you overcook it, and quickly gums up the entire dish.

    Camargue red's texture and bite make it a good fit for cold salads and salads mixed with whole grains.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.