Rice Pilaf with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pistachios

This is a perfect side dish for poultry dishes, such as roast duck or cornish hens. Advance preparation: Make 2 hours ahead and keep at room temperature. Reheat carefully in the top of a double boiler over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Seriously Simple Holidays by Diane Rossen Worthington

Rice Pilaf with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pistachios

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    1/4 cup unsalted raw pistachios 1/4 cup unsweetened dried pitted cherries
    2 tablespoons olive oil 3 cups hot water or vegetable or chicken broth
    3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 cups long-grain rice 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


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    • 1

      Variations: Vegetable Pilaf: Add 1 finely diced carrot when sauteing the rice and 1 cup defrosted frozen petits pois or 2 cups baby spinach leaves after the rice is tender and cook for about 3 minutes. Add dried cranberries or apricots instead of the cherries, and almonds or pine nuts instead of the pistachios.

    • 2

      Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pistachios and toss gently for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they begin to brown lightly. Remove to a small bowl.

    • 3

      In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the scallions for 2 minutes, or until softened.

    • 4

      Raise the heat to high. Saute the rice for about 3 minutes, or utnil well coated and lightly browned. Add the cherries and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium, add the hot water, stir with a fork, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low.

    • 5

      Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley and pistachios. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately.

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