Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pilaf with Carrot, Dill, and Orange Zest


Mr. Rosemary is and always will be my biggest fan and best critic. He is the litmus test for everything I make. He tolerates well my constant experimentation and insistence that we need a varied repertoire of food, that we need to try new things, instead of only his perennial favorites.
 
Which brings us to rice.

Although rice is a staple in three quarters of the world, it is not a favorite in this household.  While he could eat noodles or pasta all day long, rice just doesn't have the same appeal.  I have tried introducing orzo ("Looks like rice, but it isn't. This is just wrong," says he.) to a very lukewarm response.

Mixing rice with spinach was much better received.  We will not even discuss brown rice.

So you could have floored me when I served this rice dish to his rave reviews.  He commented on it before even mentioning the teriyaki pork tenderloin, which he adores, and the roasted asparagus (ditto).

It's fresh and easy and a close-to-perfect spring side to serve alongside your Easter ham.  (Or lamb, if I had my druthers.)  I do suggest doubling it.  The two of us easily ate this amount!

I originally got this recipe from the 20-something son of a friend over 25 years ago, before I was more careful about acknowledging sources.  I apologize to the creator.


Pilaf with Carrot, Dill and Orange Zest
makes four servings
2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 cup long grain white rice
grated zest of one orange
1 bunch fresh dill leaves, washed and chopped (1/2 cup chopped)
1 3/4 cup hot chicken or vegetable broth

Melt butter or heat oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan.  (I like to use half butter. half olive oil.)Add carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 2 or 3 minutes more.  Stir in orange zest, then dill, then broth.  When boiling well, cover and reduce heat to very low and cook 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

37 comments:

  1. I love cooking pilafs. Easy, quick and a one pot dish that serves all. This one looks delicious with the carrots and fresh herb like dill.
    In Indian cooking, pilafs are made often. I love the smell and flavor of fresh dill in rice. It's so yummy.

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    1. The combination of dill and orange makes a lovely and refreshingly light combination.

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  2. I really like the look of that pilaff, would make a great salad, I may make some for my work lunches next week.

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    1. I do love the mix of colors in this almost as much as the mix of flavors.

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  3. Rice Pilaf is one of my husband's favourite things; happy to find anther version to add to my collection.
    Rita

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    1. I almost forgot about this dish -- I never will again; it's deliciously different from an ordinary pilaf.

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  4. I for one, am a big fan of all kinds of rice, brown included. But I've never though to use carrots and orange peel in a pilaf -- until now. This will be on my dinner table this week.

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    1. I do hope you try it . . it's a simple delight.

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  5. Rosemary, I will have to try this. Everything is in my refrig or pantry or herb garden right now. Mothers need to teach their sons to eat all and to try to cook. It makes a world of difference.

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    1. My friends taught her son well. Don't tell her I said so, but I think he surpassed her! This is a good one, Susan; you'll like it.

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  6. Nice rice dish...my husband eats rice, but only the curry flavoured one. Your pilaf looks light yet very fresh and flavourful.

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    1. I like curry flavored rice, too. I'm not a big fan of plain rice, myself. This combination has just the right mix of flavor and ingredients.

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  7. Sounds really delicious and easy to fix... love the flavor of dill and that grated carrot is such a great addition!

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  8. What a wonderful dish! We love rice in our house and are always looking for yummy ways of dressing it up! I am thinkig this version of pilaf would be wonderful with a slice offf Easter ham on the side and that roasted asparagus!

    Your photos are just beautiful too, Rosemary!

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    1. I don't have to cook the Easter ham this year . . . but I'm thinking I'll take a double batch of this to my SIL's anyhow (even though there will already be two kinds of potatoes!)

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  9. We love rice here and your recipe will be put to good use. It has gorgeous color and great eye appeal. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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    1. I love it when eye appeal and taste try to outdo each other!

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  10. We like rice, but it's mostly a very plain side dish except for in risotto. This pilaf is gorgeous, though, and with its fabulous colors would definitely find a place on our table.

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    1. That's why it's on the Easter menu!

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  11. Love the colorful dish this is we love rice and this is so gourmet looking for the table Happy Easter!

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    1. My husband always teases me when I add something to a dish or a meal because "it needs color" but I believe it!

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  12. I'm glad you have such good support in Mr. Rosemary. :) This rice dish looks fantastic (and the teriyaki pork tenderloin sounds good, too!)

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    1. He's a good guy but tonight at dinner he refused my sweet potato ravioli in sage brown butter. I call him crazy!

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  13. I love it when my family surprises me by liking something that I think they won't. I think your rice looks fantastic!

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    1. Thanks, Beth. The rice was a nice surprise, but I was disappointed that the ravioli didn't make it. (I think he didn't like the texture of the wonton skins I used.)

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  14. We are an equal-opportunity carb eater in this home (including brown rice) and this just sets off my spring fancy! Love this as a main dish! Have a beautiful holiday weekend!

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    1. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, too, with or without brown rice! (It's sunny but cool here in Pennsylvania.)

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  15. I have the same guy in my household, but fortunately he loves rice...and would heartily approve of this recipe! Happy Easter, Rosemary!!!

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    1. If I make this more often, we'd have it, too. (But I know I'd want to try something new sooner than he!)

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  16. I'm a huge rice lover, but my kids only ever want plain old boring white rice. I'm always looking for smaller portioned dishes that I can eat that have more flavor, and this one looks fabulous Rosemary! Glad he liked it so much.

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    1. Every once in a while, even a blind squirrel gets an acorn.

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  17. Dill is my favorite spice and I can see it with the orange and the carrot. I just printed this up.

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    1. I do hope you like it as much as I do!

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  18. This looks terrific, Rosemary! We're making fish tomorrow and I think this will make the perfect side dish! Thanks for the inspiration.

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I realize you don't have to take the time to comment . . . but it makes my day! So glad you decided to stay.