|Rice pilaf garnished with fresh sage|
Rice pilaf is an easy way to add flavor to rice. When I was a kid, we called it "good rice." At its simplest, rice pilaf is just rice that's cooked in broth instead of water.
I like to start my pilaf with caramelized onion, which adds sweet, bitter, and savory flavors to complement the salt of the broth. I also toast the rice prior to adding the broth, which adds a nice nutty flavor to the finished pilaf.
This recipe serves 3-4.
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups broth (I usually use chicken)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small pinch of thyme
Begin by heating a medium stainless steel saucepan on medium heat. You can also use a dutch oven for pilaf.
Once the pan is hot, add the oil. After perhaps 30 seconds, when the oil is hot enough to shimmer (but not smoking), add the chopped onion.
|Add the broth after toasting the rice|
Immediately add the bay leaves and thyme, stir again, and then taste the broth. The flavor of the broth is pretty close to what the finished rice will taste like (minus some of the herb flavors). Adjust for salt if necessary.
Bring the water to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer and finish the rice just as you would normally (cook for another 10-15 minutes until the rice is tender).