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