Perfect Rice Pilaf with Orzo and Slivered Almonds

Very few ingredients are needed to make an outstanding rice pilaf dish.  We chose to add some pan toasted orzo, turmeric, basil and thyme.  Topped off with some fresh parsley and slivered toasted almonds, this pilaf is anything but boring. RICE PILAF WITH ORZO AND SLIVERED ALMONDS - No boxed rices! Homemade rice pilaf is the easiest side dish #rice #sidedish #orzo #happilyunprocessed

Rice pilaf is, by definition, rice that has been cooked in chicken stock or another flavored broth.   It is also usually made with broken little bits of spaghetti and toasted.

But it doesn’t have to be bland and boring.

We chose to add some orzo in this recipe.  Both the rice and orzo get pan toasted to bring out the nutty flavor of the orzo before the liquid gets added.  Toasting them also coats both the rice and orzo in oil which will help with clumping.

I always recommend adding your spices BEFORE the liquid.  Dried spices lose a lot of their flavor the longer they sit.  By heating them up in a hot pan for even just a few seconds can dramatically increase their flavor.

I don’t have to tell you how great I think turmeric is.  It is one of those holier than thou spices in my book.  Anytime I can use it I will.  It’s a fabulous anti inflammatory.   It is combined with some thyme and basil and that’s all this rice really needs.

RICE PILAF WITH ORZO AND SLIVERED ALMONDS - No boxed rices! Homemade rice pilaf is the easiest side dish #rice #sidedish #orzo #happilyunprocessed

 

HOW TO MAKE THE FLUFFIEST RICE PILAF

1. Heat oil or butter in a large skillet
2. Add your vegetables (onion, mushrooms, carrots) with some salt and pepper until they soften.
3. Add the rice (and/or orzo) and cook, stirring often until the orzo browns and the rice becomes translucent.
4. Add the seasonings and broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover.
5. Cooking time will vary based on the rice used. Long grain will take longer.
6. Take the rice off the heat and fluff with a fork and cover with a clean kitchen towel to steam.

 

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Perfect Rice Pilaf with Orzo and Slivered Almonds

RICE PILAF WITH ORZO AND SLIVERED ALMONDS - No boxed rices! Homemade rice pilaf is the easiest side dish #rice #sidedish #orzo #happilyunprocessed

A perfect weeknight side dish that compliments everything from fish to chicken to steak

  • Author: Debi
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup Orzo
  • 1/2 Cup Rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon each Turmeric, Thyme, Basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt and fresh Black pepper
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Cup Slivered Toasted Almonds

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet and add the onion.  Cook until translucent, approximately 4 minutes.  Add the orzo and the rice stir occasionally until the orzo turns brown and the rice becomes a little translucent, approximately 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir.
  2. Add the turmeric, salt and pepper, rice and chicken broth.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook without lifting the lid for 15 to 18 minutes.  At the end, check that the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.  If not, cover and cook another few minutes, adding a few tablespoons of water if needed, total time should be around 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.  Add chopped parsley and almonds and stir.

Notes

I use all organic ingredients when possible, including the rice.

Depending on the chicken broth you used, you may need to add more salt.  Please taste for seasonings as it’s cooking.

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