Just a quick post today. I wanted to share my rice pilaf recipe with you because rice is so essential to many Eastern Mediterranean meals. Toasted orzo makes this pilaf special, lending a nutty aroma and taste to the fluffy rice. This recipe makes a huge batch. It reheats well for workweek meals.
Middle Eastern Rice Pilaf Recipe
- 1/3 cup orzo pasta
- 2 cups long grain rice, rinsed and drained. I used Carolina brand.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- A handful of chopped parsley (optional)
- 3 diced scallions (optional)
- Olive oil and/or butter for frying the onions and drizzling over the cooked rice
- Salt to taste. I use sea salt.
- 3 1/2 cups water
Toast the orzo in the same pot you're going to cook the rice in. Just place the orzo in the pot and add a drizzle of olive oil and/or butter and cook on medium heat until it turns a deep golden brown. Remove it from the pot and set aside.
Add the onion to the same pot with a pinch of salt, some butter and/or olive oil. Fry the onions until soft. Add the rinsed and drained rice to the pot that contains the cooked onions, drizzle a little more olive oil and stir to coat the rice in the oil. This should take a minute or so.
Put the orzo back into the pot along with 3 1/2 cups of water and more salt to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer, covered, on the lowest possible setting for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest in the covered pot for an additional 5 minutes. Place the rice pilaf into a large bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil or some melted butter and fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. Some diced scallions are also nice in this rice.