So to go with my last recipe post, delicious Magic Salmon, I thought I’d post a side dish recipe for rice pilaf that is always a hit. It is very simple. You might even call it bland if you are used to eating flavored box mixes like Rice-a-roni, but it is a winner in our house. It is a good complement/balance for a very flavorful main dish and is great if you have noodle/rice loving kids like mine. The recipe calls for orzo, which I would recommend since the shape fits well with the rice, but if you can’t find orzo look for another very very small pasta like Stelline (itty bitty stars). The recipe calls for minced garlic and I used to mince my own all the time, but now with two kids to watch while also making dinner I love to use the pre-minced garlic in a jar for an application such as this. It saves time, mess and the smell on my hands. I use a brand that is just minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil.
Simple Rice Pilaf
adapted from Sarah’s Rice Pilaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry orzo pasta
1/2 cup diced onion or shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry rice
2 cups chicken broth (veggie broth would work too- this is for flavor so use water here if you have to)
Get out a medium stockpot that has a good lid. Heat the pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and the orzo. Cook the orzo, stirring regularly, until it is just slightly browned and add the diced onion. Cook the onion until slightly soft and then add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute more. Mix in the rice and the chicken broth. Cover and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25 minutes without removing the lid. Turn off the heat and let the pilaf sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff the pilaf with a fork.