Pilaf. Sounds schmancy. Sounds schmaltzy. Sounds intimidating, to be honest.
Usually when I eat rice my method is pretty simple. Water gets boiled, rice goes in with some salt and butter, the whole pot simmers for a little under twenty minutes. Occasionally I sautee some vegetables or an egg and mix them into the rice, but then you’ve got the extra pans and the extra time…
Enter the PILAF. I can’t believe I was nervous to try this. There’s loads more flavor, only one pan, and your rice has the most delectably alluring nutty taste, PLUS all the sauteed vegetables you would have made on the side! It’s delicious! It’s visually appealing! And for all my worries and whining, it’s also very easy. Rice has entered a new kingdom for me. We’re in the big leagues now.
Rice Pilaf with Spring Vegetables
Note: I would use onion and garlic and bell peppers and the sort if I had access to them, but what was in the kitchen was young garlic, asparagus, and green onions. I loosely based my experiment off of this recipe from Mommy’s Kitchen. So clearly, this is a very flexible recipe. Obsessed with garlic? Add more garlic. Have leftover broccoli? Throw that in. The wonder of Pilaf!!
1 whole stalk young garlic
5 spears of asparagus
2 green onions
1 tbsp butter
1 cup rice
2 cups stock (be it vegetable, chicken…water works too. But stock will add flavor)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Heat up a large skillet that has a tightly-fitting cover (the cover is pretty important), and melt 1 tsp of your butter in it when hot. Sautee your vegetables until softened and beginning to brown.
Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan and melt the rest of your butter in the center. Add your cup of rice and stir to coat with butter, allow to brown for about two to three minutes.
Add your stock, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and let the Pilaf do it’s magic for about twenty minutes. Pat yourself on the back and do a victory lap. You are a Pilaf Champion!
Do you have any idea how impressive pilaf looks to other people? ESPECIALLY people who don’t cook? Best guest dish ever. And since the last twenty minutes are you standing around, it’s the perfect window to clean up the kitchen or change out of your pajamas or reflect on your magnificent capability as a cook.
Let the pilaf sit for three minutes, fluff with a fork, and serve!