Pistachio Rice Pilaf


Grilling season has returned and easy rice side dishes like this pilaf are a perfect accompaniment to any grilled meat, fish or poultry.

This rice pilaf is jazzed up with crunchy chopped pistachios. It may be made a few hours in advance and served hot or at room temperature, freeing the cook up to man the BBQ grill…or make a pitcher of margaritas.

The spice turmeric is used in this recipe mainly for the brilliant yellow color. Since it has very little flavor of it’s own it can be omitted if desired, however, new research has shown that turmeric may have powerful antioxidant and anti cancer properties. But we’d use it even if it wasn’t good for us; we love the vibrant color turmeric adds to many of our dishes.

Pistachio Rice Pilaf
2 teaspoons butter or olive oil
½ cup diced onion
½ cup white long-grain rice
½ cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup water
¼ cup sherry or dry white wine
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ cup coarsely chopped pistachios (plus a few whole ones for garnish)
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup thinly sliced green onions

Sauté the onions in butter or olive oil until translucent. Add rice and orzo to the onions. Stir constantly over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then carefully add chicken broth, water and wine.

Stir in the salt and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the chopped pistachios, parsley and green onions and serve.

Serves 4

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  1. I had to go to Nob Hill after reading your last post, now I have to make this recipe. My stomach actually growled as I was reading. Nice summer choice. It would probably be good with some kind of watermelon cocktail.
    Thanks for the cool recipe.

  2. I love the color in this. It sounds really delicious also!
    I’ll have to add this to the side dish list the next time I make grilled chicken.

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