Rice pilaf with dried fruits and almonds

Rice pilaf with dried fruits and almonds


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About this recipe: Pilaf always begins with a grain – often rice. But the ingredients can vary: you can add dried fruits and sweet spice or vegetables and herbs. This version is bursting with flavour.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 6 

  • 12 dried apricot halves
  • 15g (½oz) butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 175g (6oz) jasmine or long-grain white rice
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • pepper to taste
  • 600ml (1 pint) low salt vegetable stock
  • 75g (2¾oz) sultanas
  • 40g (1½oz) slivered almonds, toasted
  • sprigs of fresh rosemary to garnish

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:55min 

  1. Snip the apricots with kitchen scissors into small slivers. Melt the butter in a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, rice, cardamom and pepper, and sauté for about 8 minutes or until the rice is toasted.
  2. Stir in the stock, sultanas, almonds and apricots, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the stock is all absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then serve garnished with rosemary sprigs.

Some more ideas

Herbed rice pilaf: Use 185g (6½oz) long-grain brown rice instead of jasmine rice. Sauté 1 chopped green pepper along with the rice and onion, and use 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme and 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary instead of the cardamom. Replace the sultanas, almonds and apricots with 40g (1½oz) chopped toasted pecan nuts.

Health points

Dried apricots are fat-free and full of nutrients that are good both for blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels, such as potassium, lycopene, beta-carotene and pectin. In addition, apricots are a rich source of iron. While the drying process removes apricots' store of vitamin C, many other nutrients are enhanced.

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