Nutty-Fruity Rice Pilaf
Multi-grain rice medleys are really nice, if cooked well. The problem for me is that they often end up mushy, with some of the grains perfectly cooked, while others in the mixture are either over or under-cooked. This is why I choose basmati rice almost exclusively these days, except when I’m making wild rice, which is my very favorite. Basmati rice cooks perfectly every, single time I make it, and I really like that. But, it’s also a plain rice, so it needs some sprucing up from time to time to accompany certain dishes. A couple of weeks ago, I had a hankering for Chicken Marbella from the Silver Palate Cookbook and made this rice pilaf to accompany it. The sautéed fruits and nuts beautifully complement the olives and prunes in the chicken dish. I won’t equivocate … this rice is amazing!
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 ¾ cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots thinly sliced
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ cup pecan pieces
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- Bring broth to a boil and immediately add rice. Bring back to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until rice is cooked and fluffy.
- While rice is cooking, heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add shallots. Cook until translucent and just beginning to turn golden-brown.
- Add raisins, cranberries, pecans, almonds and pepitas to the shallots in the pan. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until nuts and fruits begin brown just slightly, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Turn nut-fruit mixture into rice and toss to blend. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container to later reheat and serve.