This rice pilaf is a perfect side dish for poultry dishes, such as roast duck legs with caramelized shallots and garlic or Cornish hens with braised cabbage and apple.
Note: The clever cook could add dried cranberries or apricots instead of the cherries, and almonds or pine nuts instead of pistachios.—Diane Rossen Worthington
1/4 cup unsalted raw pistachios
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
1/4 cup unsweetened dried pitted cherries
3 cups hot water or vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pistachios and toss gently for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they begin to brown lightly. Remove to a small bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the scallions for 2 minutes, or until softened.
3. Raise the heat to high. Saute the rice for about 3 minutes, or until well coated and lightly browned. Add the cherries and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium, add the hot water, stir with a fork, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low.
4. Simmer the rice for about 20 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley and pistachios. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately.
Note: For advance preparation, make the rice pilaf 2 hours ahead and keep it at room temperature. Reheat it carefully in the top of a double boiler over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Recipe © 2007 by Diane Rossen Worthington. All rights reserved.