Lebanese Rice Pilaf

Lebanese Rice Pilaf

Lebanese Rice Pilaf

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Lebanese Rice Pilaf is a wonderful side dish for any occasion.  Tender rice gets speckled with toasted vermicelli noodles and topped with toasted pine nuts or almonds for added flavour and crunch.  The toasted vermicelli brings the rice to life with its nutty flavour and chewy texture.  Using ghee in this recipe adds extra flavour and helps the vermicelli turn deep amber in colour.  Ghee is butter, in which the milk solids have been toasted and then removed by straining to leave behind a nutty-tasting butter that can be used for higher-heat cooking because the milk solids have been removed and therefore don’t burn.

What makes a rice dish a pilaf?  This definition seems to vary a little between sources but generally refers to rice that is seasoned by using stock/broth and sometimes meat and vegetables. In other definitions, the rice is sautéed in butter or oil before adding the stock or broth.  Today’s recipe includes the use of chicken broth to add extra flavour and also lightly sautés the rice with ghee-laden vermicelli.  The benefit of sautéing the rice is to coat the rice grains with fat to create a fluffier rice that does not stick together.  Rinsing the rice well with cool water to remove the excess starch also helps to ensure fluffy rice. 

Today’s Lebanese Rice Pilaf is easy and produces fluffy, flavourful rice every time, so there’s no excuse to eat boring rice. Enjoy!

Looking for more delicious side dishes?

Potato and Mushroom Gratin

Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

Mushroom Herb Rice

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Lebanese Rice Pilaf

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
  • 3/4 cup vermicelli pasta
  • 2 cups long grain rice like basmati
  • 1 litre chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds

Instructions

  • Heat ghee in a large skillet. Add vermicelli and cook stirring frequently until a deep amber colour.
  • Rinse rice with cool water to remove the excess starch. Drain well and add to the pasta stirring to coat the rice grains in the fat.
  • Add chicken broth and salt. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff the rice and move it to a serving dish if desired. Garnish with parsley and toasted nuts.

Mushroom Herb Rice

Mushroom Herb Rice

Mushroom Herb Rice is a simple yet delicious way to change up your rice game. Only a few fresh ingredients and 45 minutes stand between you and a better dinner. What I love about this rice is the fact that it’s not over complicated or overwhelming in flavours. This also means it goes with most everything. Change up the herbs if you like or use chicken broth instead of vegetable, it really doesn’t matter, it will still be fantastic. This recipe yields 4 cups of cooked rice, but don’t fret, it freezes and reheats very well in the microwave. So you may conveniently get two meals out of one. Win win!!

We, as in my husband and I are definitely a rice lovely family. We probably eat some form of it 3-4 days a week. So I’ve learned to change it up now and again, because eating plain rice all the time is, well, very boring, especially to a food blogger. My husband may be fine with eating plain white rice (I’m pretty sure he is) but there’s so much more that can and WILL be done. This simple recipe is just one of many ways to perk up your rice, and I hope to share more ideas as time permits, so don’t forget to check back regularly.

Recipe source for Mushroom Herb Rice:  Compelled To Cook

Mushroom Herb Rice
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    30 minutes 5 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    30 minutes 5 minutes
    Mushroom Herb Rice
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      30 minutes 5 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      30 minutes 5 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. In a medium pot heat 2 tbsp of butter over medium high heat until starting to foam. Add mushrooms and stir to coat in butter. Cook until mushrooms are browned and liquid has cooked out, stirring only once or twice, about 5-7 minutes.
      2. Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in rice, herbs, salt and pepper and allow to return to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 23-25 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 tbsp of butter and fluff with a fork. Garnish with additional chopped parsley if desired and serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      Yields 4 cups of cooked rice. Use margarine or olive oil for vegetarian and vegan options.

      Mushroom Bacon Risotto

      Mushroom Bacon Risotto

      Truthfully, I don’t make a lot of risotto, so when a friend recently made me a delicious bacon risotto, I remembered what all the fuss is about. Mushroom Bacon Risotto is a splendid variation, loaded with flavour, creamy and luscious.

      With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Mushroom Bacon Risotto is a lovely dish to share with your sweetheart. Indulgent with bacon and cheese, bright with a splash of wine and earthy with garlic and mushrooms. Tastes wickedly good without being too heavy and perfect with steamed asparagus and a glass of wine. Simple and elegant!

      It’s not the quickest risotto, having to sauté the bacon and mushrooms first, but the combination is fantastic and worth the extra effort. I like to add the cooked bacon and mushrooms at the end, that way they retain their texture, especially the bacon. For me, it’s best with a little bit of crispiness and chew, giving the risotto some texture. The bacon also adds salt, so I find low sodium broth is best in this case, seasoning accordingly at the end. So come and find out what the fuss is all about with Mushroom Bacon Risotto!

      Recipe source for Mushroom Bacon Risotto:  Compelled To Cook

       

      Mushroom Bacon Risotto
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        3 people 10 minutes
        Cook Time
        43-45 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        3 people 10 minutes
        Cook Time
        43-45 minutes
        Mushroom Bacon Risotto
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          3 people 10 minutes
          Cook Time
          43-45 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          3 people 10 minutes
          Cook Time
          43-45 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. In a large skillet fry bacon over medium heat until crisp tender and most of the fat has rendered. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and reserve fat. Once bacon has cooled enough to handle, coarsely chop.
          2. Using same skillet, increase heat to medium high and add 1 tbsp of bacon fat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until starting to brown and moisture has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
          3. In same skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp of bacon fat and chopped shallot and sauté until starting to soften but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add minced garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
          4. Stir in rice and continue to sauté and stir until rice is coated, about 1 minute. Add wine, stirring to combine and scraping up any bits stuck to the pan. Allow to be mostly absorbed, about 1 minute.
          5. Adjust temperature to medium and add 1/2 cup of broth, stirring to combine and allowing broth to absorb. Continue adding broth by the 1/2 cup, allowing each portion to be mostly absorbed before adding more, stirring often.
          6. When down to the last cup of broth, test for texture and add more broth if desired, saving 1/4 cup for finishing. When the rice is al dente and the last addition of broth has been absorbed, stir in mushrooms and bacon. Add remaining 1/4 cup of broth, parmesan cheese, butter and parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.
          Recipe Notes

          Makes approximately 4 1/2 cups of risotto, enough for 3 main dish servings or 6 side dish servings.

          Italian Turkey Kale Rolls

          Italian Turkey Kale Rolls

          With this weeks wintery weather here in western Canada I can safely say it’s casserole season! Which for me is a great because I love saucy and satisfying dishes that warm the house and fill it with mouth watering aroma. So while I’m not actually crazy about the weather, it does give cause to make Italian Turkey Kale Rolls. They’re a tasty way to warm your belly and beat off this weeks chill.

          Ground turkey is spiced up with Italian sausage, herbs and spices then combined with rice and rolled into kale leaves. Baked until flavours meld and the turkey is cooked through then topped with a sprinkling of cheese and given a quick broil. The resulting roll is tender, full of flavour and laden with tomatoey sauce. These tasty rolls are hearty and satisfying without being heavy, not to mention a great way to eat a little kale.

          I would consider Italian Turkey Kale Rolls a weekend recipe as there’s some prep and an hour long baking time. So a lazy Sunday afternoon is in order. The recipe does make 14 large rolls which for many of us will mean leftovers. Easy to portion out and freeze the leftovers to save for another wintery day when your time is limited.  Enjoy!

          Recipe source for Italian Turkey Kale Rolls:  Compelled To Cook

           

          Italian Turkey Kale Rolls
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            14 rolls 45 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            63 minutes 5 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            14 rolls 45 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            63 minutes 5 minutes
            Italian Turkey Kale Rolls
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              14 rolls 45 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              63 minutes 5 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              14 rolls 45 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              63 minutes 5 minutes
              Ingredients
              Rolls
              Servings: rolls
              Instructions
              Rolls
              1. Bring water and salt to a boil, add rice, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool while continuing.
              2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer. Trim the bottom 2-3 inches from kale leaves. Blanch leaves in water for 3 minutes. Remove using a slotted scoop to a cold water bath or cold running water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
              3. In a large bowl combine ground turkey, Italian sausage, onion, green pepper, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Mix gently just to combine all ingredients. Gently mix in rice.
              4. Preheat oven to 350℉. Lay a kale leaf flat and dab with a paper towel to grab any excess moisture. Scoop a generous 1/4 cup of filling onto leaf and roll leaf over filling, tucking in the sides as mush as possible. If the leaf is not large enough to tuck the sides simply press them around the filling. Place roll into a greased 13"x 9" casserole dish. Repeat with remaining kale and filling, stacking rolls tightly in pan getting 2 rows of 7.
              5. Pour sauce evenly over rolls, cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired and broil 2-3 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.
              Sauce
              1. In a medium bowl whisk together all ingredients and set aside until rolls are assembled.
              Recipe Notes

              I found that it takes 3 bunches of fresh kale to yield the 14 large leaves.  Save the smaller leaves for another use. It may be necessary to trim out about 1" of the center stem from the bottom of the cooked kale leaf to allow the leaf to roll nicely.  Don't worry too much about tucking in the sides as they are packed tightly in the pan and hold their shape when cooked.