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Rice pilaf, rice browned first then cooked in stock with mushrooms, onions, and toasted pine nuts.
Photography Credit:Elise Bauer
Have you ever noticed that some people are potato people and some people are rice people?
My dad for example, is a potato person. He’s happiest with a side of simple boiled potatoes as his starch, for practically any meal. He can eat a plate full of them, while I will have just a quarter of one small Yukon gold.
I am a rice person. Perhaps it’s the residual of scraping by on steamed broccoli and brown rice for so many years before discovering the twin joys of bacon and butter. Or perhaps it comes from living in Japan where rice is so important the word for it (gohan) is the same as the word for food.
In any case, I love rice every which way.
This is a nutty, earthy rice pilaf, a riff off of my mother’s basic pilaf, but with mushrooms, toasted pine nuts, some butter, and a green. We were originally considering this as a stuffing for a poultry dish, but decided to serve it as a side instead (great with chicken).
Do you have a favorite rice pilaf or pilaf-ish rice stuffing that could double as a side? I would love to hear about it.
Thanks in advance!
Yours truly, the Rice-Obsessed-One.
Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Pine Nuts Recipe
- Up to 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (vegetable stock for vegetarian option, gluten-free stock for gluten-free version), depending on the type of rice you are using, or a mixture of water and stock*
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 5 ounces shiitake, cremini, or button mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions or yellow onions
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup (loosely packed) chopped arugula, watercress, or 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
* The amount of stock you use for this recipe is dependent on the type of rice you are using, and the cooking directions on the package of rice. For example, if your rice calls for 1 3/4 cups of liquid for 1 cup of rice, then use 3 1/2 cups of stock/water for the 2 cups of rice that this recipe calls for.
1 Heat the stock: Measure out the stock according to the liquid requirements on your package of rice for 2 cups of rice. Place in a 2 quart sauce pan and bring to a simmer. While the stock is heating, prepare the pine nuts, mushrooms, and rice in the next three steps.
2 Toast the pine nuts: Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the pine nuts. Toast, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the pine nuts from the hot pan to a bowl, set aside.
3 Sauté the mushrooms: Return the pan to the heat. Add the chopped mushrooms. Dry sauté the mushrooms (using no fat), stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms give off much of their moisture and begin to brown slightly. Remove the mushrooms from the pan, set aside (can add to the same bowl as the pine nuts.)
4 Brown the rice: Add olive oil to the pan and increase the heat to high. Add the white rice, spreading the rice out in the pan and stirring to coat with the oil. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice begins to brown.
5 Add the onions, then the pine nuts and mushrooms: Mix in the onions, and cook for a couple minutes more, until the onions soften and turn translucent. Add the pine nuts and mushrooms to the rice and remove from heat.
6 Combine rice mixture and stock: Carefully add the rice mixture to the saucepan with the hot stock. Mix in the salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and cover the pan.
Cook according the the rice package instructions, anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of rice. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.
7 Stir in butter and greens: Stir in the butter and and chopped arugula, watercress, or parsley. Fluff up with a fork. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
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Mushroom and Toasted Pine Nut Rice Pilaf
I host our family’sThanksgiving dinner at my house every year It’s a tradition that started several years ago. Because I love to be in the kitchen it’s one of my very favorite times of the year. Another tradition I started when I began hosting Thanksgiving was was each year I make a new recipe to try in addition to all the usual dishes like turkey, green bean casserole and cornbread dressing,
These side dishes include Cranberry Relish which I shared on the blog last year and Ambrosia Salad which I shared a couple years ago. This year I’m making this Mushroom and Toasted Pine Nut Pilaf. It’s a simple dish but it’s going to be perfect accompaniment to the turkey.
Now I know you’re thinking rice pilaf? What’s exciting about that? Well this isn’t just any ordinary, bland rice. Mushroom and Toasted Pine Nut Pilaf is full of great flavors and is just a little bit fancy.
I believe fancy doesn’t have to be complicated. Actually that’s kind of profound maybe I should cross stitch is on a pillow or maybe t-shirts. Ok, back to the recipe.
This recipe will make enough for about six small portions. Depending on how many friends and family you have around your table you might need to adjust the recipe for more or less.
I started by toasting the pine nuts. There are several ways to do this but I recommend just dropping them into a skillet and cooking over low heat for a few minutes while stirring constantly.
When the nuts become fragrant and golden brown they are done. Keep an eye on the nuts while they are toasting because they can burn quickly. Once the nuts have been toasted set them aside in a bowl.
Then in a stock pot over medium high heat cook onions and mushrooms until tender. Then add the VeeTee Long Grain Rice and frozen peas and cook for about three minutes. Next, pour in chicken stock, butter and pine nuts to mixture bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes stirring occasionally.
Making this Mushroom and Toasted Pine Nut Pilaf with VeeTee Rice really cuts down on cooking time. Let’s face it when your cooking a big meal like Thanksgiving you need a few great shortcuts.
VeeTee Rice is the perfect shortcut because you can stir fry or microwave the rice in just two minutes. Meaning there’s no need wait for the rice to cook! How can you not love that when your busy cooking so many other dishes for your Thanksgiving feast?
Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see links to the other great recipes I’ve made with VeeTee Rice!
Savory Mushroom & Basil Pilaf with Toasted Pine Nuts
This dish is a gorgeous arrangement of spring flavors - green onions, mushrooms, fresh basil leaves and toasted pine nuts come together perfectly with brown basmati rice and a touch of olive oil for rich flavor.
I chose brown basmati rice for the pilaf for it's hearty texture and ability to take in so many flavors without getting mushy.
Now that spring is around the corner, you'll start to see fresh basil bunches everywhere. Grab as much as you can for not only this dish but also to make homemade pesto's or to stack with tomatoes and mozzarella.
While the rice cooks, chop up the mushrooms into tiny pieces and slice the green onions from the white bulbs up to almost the very tops.
To toast the pine nuts, heat a small pan over medium heat and brown the nuts until fragrant. Be sure not to walk away as this is toasting because they can easily burn. This shouldn't take more than 4-5 minutes. Set the aside to use later.
In a large pan heated with oil, saute the shrooms and onions until softened, then add the rice, pine nuts and basil. Let the rice toast a little bit on the pan, then add a little more oil to coat everything and keep stirring. The salt and pepper finish it off for a simple yet delicious pilaf.
What goes in rice pilaf
The ingredients you need to make this rice pilaf are:
Best rice for rice pilaf – basmati rice is the best for both flavour and fluffiness. Basmati is a type of long grain rice – the longer the grain, the fluffier the rice. It also has a lovely subtle fragrance that really compliments the flavours in this rice pilaf
Fat – I choose butter for flavour, but any oil of choice is fine here
Flavour Base – sautéed garlic and onion, to add savouriness
Rice Pilaf Spices – I’ve used a combination of cinnamon, cardamom and cumin in this Rice Pilaf. It’s reminiscent of Middle Eastern flavours but also a festive combination. Feel free to customise this to your own taste
Broth OR water – For extra flavour, I almost always make my Rice Pilaf with vegetable or chicken broth. However, water will work just fine as well, though I’d add an extra pinch of each of the spices
Nuts – I’ve used pistachios and almonds in my Rice Pilaf recipe. I adore both the flavour and colour that pistachios bring to this seasoned rice. Almonds and pistachios are also on theme for a Middle. Eastern style rice pilaf. For more of a traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas theme, try pecans plus / or almonds. Walnuts are also great!
Dried Fruit – Use anything you like here. I like using apricots for a touch of colour, and raisins or sultanas because the flavour melds in nicely with the rice. Cranberries / craisins also work well but be aware that they provide a sharper pop of flavour because they are tart. Goji berries would also be great.
Non nut options (allergies) – try using sunflower seeds and/or pepitas/pumpkin seeds. Terrific texture and flavour!
There are some Rice Pilafs that are packed with gorgeous fresh herb flavours, but this isn’t one of those. This is a Rice Pilaf that celebrates the earthy, festive spice flavourings, the nuts and the sweet pops from the dried fruit. So I just add a tiny sprinkle of parsley as a garnish, just to add a little colour when serving.
Mushroom Rice Pilaf
Savory Mushroom Rice Pilaf Recipe: Fluffy rice kissed with butter, sweet onions, garlic, sherry, herbs, and wild mushrooms!
Check Out The Full Mushroom Rice Pilaf Recipe Below
Jazz up your table in just minutes with this 15 Minute Savory Rice Pilaf. Made with onions, mushrooms, peas and fluffy Minute® Instant Premium White Rice, it’s an easy side that’s packed with flavor. Add your favorite herbs to give it a personal touch!
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for 3-5 minutes, or until tender.
Add broth, mushrooms and peas Stir. Bring to a boil.
Stir in white rice and cover. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
To add more whole grains to the dish, swap in brown rice for the white. Simply prepare as noted above, when stirring in the uncooked brown rice, simmer for 10 minutes before covering and removing from heat. Be sure to let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Season as desired with your favorite chopped fresh herbs.
This savory rice pilaf recipe is a great way to add a bit of flavor to your next meal with rice that has been seasoned to perfection in onions sautéed in butter, hearty mushrooms and peas all simmered in a savory broth. Not to mention, it’s a perfect side dish that’s ready in just 15 minutes.
As this recipe is meat free, if you eat a vegetarian diet, simply swap the chicken/beef broth for a vegetable broth such as celery. You can also easily turn this side dish into a main meal by mixing in cooked chicken, lentils or quinoa.
Meal Prep Idea
Turn your quick meal into a meal prep opportunity. This rice recipe serves 4, so you can easily separate it into 4 containers and top it with any additional roasted veggies and 2 cooked chicken breasts cut in half for 4 different servings.
If you’re looking to plan out your day with meal prep options, we suggest you use our Ready to Serve Brown Rice & Quinoa to prepare these Quinoa and Sausage Breakfast Muffins to take with you on the go and enjoy this rice pilaf for lunch.
Lebanese Spiced Rice Ingredients
Ghee: Is clarified butter and is classic in this recipe. Though butter or olive oil will work too, but the olive oil may offer a stronger and fruitier flavor.
Ground Beef: Lean ground beef is browned with the rice, but I’ve made this with ground lamb adn a combination of the two.
Basmati Rice: Our favorite style of rice because it is light and fragrant.
Onion and Garlic: Classic aromatics, I used a red onion in this recipe for the color and sweetness but others should work well.
Warm Spices: Cinnamon, cumin, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper is what gives this dish its exciting and warm flavors.
Pint Nuts: Toasted in ghee until golden brown. Slivered almonds would be fantastic to add or substitute.
Brown Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and all but 2 tablespoons of the sliced scallions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until any liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and the mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and rice, then add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Add a large pinch each of salt and pepper.
Scrape the rice into a 9-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover the rice with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Let the pilaf stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Squeeze the lime over the pilaf and fluff with a fork. Season with salt, garnish with the reserved 2 tablespoons of sliced scallions and serve.
Oven-Baked Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms
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Because wild rice takes twice as long to cook as white rice or bulgur, its easier to bake this pilaf in the oven.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 10 oz. sliced mushrooms (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 cups wild rice
- 1/4 cup Madeira wine
- 1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft, stirring often. Raise heat to medium, add mushrooms, and cook
7 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown. Stir in garlic and thyme, and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in rice. Add <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Madeira and soy sauce, and simmer 2 minutes, or until almost all liquid has evaporated. Add broth and 1 cup water, and return to a simmer.
2. Place lid on Dutch oven, and bake 45 minutes. Remove lid, and bake 30 minutes more, or until most of liquid has been absorbed. Remove from oven, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.
Cook wild rice in chicken stock until most kernels have bloomed, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and reserve rice for later use.
Dice bacon into 1/4 inch wide pieces and saute until it starts to get crispy, drain grease and set aside.
Melt butter in saute pan and add onion. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add mushrooms and saute until tender (add more butter if necessary). Add parsley and wild rice and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Serve with wild game, poultry or walleye!
Tips: Try adding roasted corn kernels, red bell peppers, almonds, cashews, or toasted pine nuts for variety!
Wild rice pilaf with mushrooms and peas
There's no wrong way to serve pilaf, but this dish is a sure winner.
Growing up, pilaf was a staple in my house. My mom made it almost every meal, regardless of the main dish. I often thought, even if we had rice as the main dish, she would still make pilaf.
I joke now, but when I went away to college, it was the one thing I craved. Those staples are staples for a reason. I still crave it.
This recipe isn't my mom's but it is pretty darn good.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup wild rice
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
Add shallot and cook until softened, 3 minutes.
Add wild rice and cook, stirring, until fragrant and toasted.
/>WIld rice is high in protein and complex carbohydrates while containing little fat. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)
Season with salt and pepper and add in vegetable broth.
Bring to a boil over high heat reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Saute mushrooms while rice is cooking.
Add peas and mushrooms. Cover and cook until peas are warm and water is absorbed, 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and top with pine nuts and parsley. Enjoy!
/>Sprinkled with pine nuts on top, this dish has the perfect blend of crunch and comfort. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)
Jerry James Stone is a vegetarian and vegan food blogger who has created recipes for the Discovery Channel, Whole Foods Market, and many more.