Tag Archives: pilaf

Rice Pilaf with Toasted Orzo

I don’t care how easy they say that they are to make, those rice blends at the supermarket are overrated.  Dehydrated herbs and chicken flavor make up the taste profile, and you can’t be sure how long it’s all been sitting on the shelf.  You can totally take control of your own destiny – make your own rice pilaf in the same amount of time with no fillers or preservatives.

This pilaf takes ordinary converted rice and boosts it with a bit of toasted orzo.  The little pasta grains impart texture, nuttiness and a lovely color to the dish – you get depth of flavor with really no additional work.  This recipe is a great, quick side for a weeknight dinner – while you prepare your main dish, you can have a pot of this simmering away on the back burner.  Best of all, when it’s done, you can fluff with a fork and recover until the rest of the meal is finished.  It’ll wait for you until you’re ready to go.  Rice that’s patient?  Who woulda thunk it?

Rice Pilaf with Toasted Orzo

2 c. of converted, parboiled rice (like Uncle Ben’s)
1/2 c. of orzo
1 tsp. of fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
2 tbs. of olive oil
2 tbs. of butter
4 c. of vegetable (or chicken stock)

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil to shimmering.  Add the butter and the orzo to the hot pan, continuously stirring to brown the orzo but not burn it.  Once the orzo is toasty brown, add the rice, pepper and oregano.  Stir to combine and add the chicken broth.  Let the mixture come to a boil, then cover the pot and lower the heat to low.

Cook pilaf until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Uncover rice and fluff with a fork.  Serve.

Herbed Pilaf

Although I don’t have access to a plot of land to cultivate my green thumb, I make do with every inch of real estate available to me in my apartment with my itty-bitty home garden.  It saves me quick dashes to the store to buy expensive fresh herbs, and I’m further encouraged to include them in dishes as opposed to dried herbs.  It’s an absolute boon, and truly, a window garden is very little work.  Not to mention the fact that with a little sun and water, basil, dill, parsley and mint are practically unstoppable.

This simple rice pilaf is a celebration of the goodness of fresh herbs – if you are not inclined to grow your own, pick up the prettiest, leafiest bunches from the store or farmer’s market and go to town.  This is one of those “make-it-your-own” kind of deals, so absolutely be creative.  I like a combination of dill, mint, basil, thyme and parsley, but sage, savory, rosemary and fennel also work well.

I use chicken broth in lieu of all water in this recipe, but if you’d like to keep things vegetarian, replace the chicken broth with veggie stock to make things meat-free.  Scrap the butter for a little more olive oil, and you’ve got a vegan delight on your hands.  Yup, that easy.  And speaking of easy, these shots feature Marx Foods Palm Plates – biodegradeable gems that are as lovely to look at as they are sturdy and good for the environment.  Check ’em out!

Recipe for

Herbed Pilaf

2 c. of long grain rice
2 tbs. of butter
1 tbs. of olive oil
2 c. of chicken broth
scant 2 c. of water
1/2 tsp. of salt
pinch of black pepper
1/4 c. of mixed herbs, loosely packed

Begin by roughly chopping the herbs.  Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium pot.  Add the rice, broth, water, salt and pepper and bring mixture to a boil.  Once boiling, toss the herbs on top and cover.  Turn heat to low and cook until all water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Fluff rice with a fork and serve.