Middle Eastern Rice Pilaf with Toasted Orzo

By • June 7, 2013 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Rice is so essential to a lot of Eastern Mediterranean meals. Toasted orzo makes this pilaf special. The orzo lends a light, nutty aroma and taste to the fluffy rice. This recipe makes a big batch. It reheats well.Jilly Inspired


Serves a pot full

  • 1/3 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 cups long grain rice, rinsed very well and drained. I used Carolina brand.
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • olive oil and/or butter for frying the onions and drizzling over the cooked rice
  • sea salt or kosher salt to taste
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • chopped fresh flat leaf parsley for serving (optional)
  1. 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. Add the orzo back to 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. Serve and enjoy.

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