Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts

  • Active Time 40m
  • Total Time 55m

Serves 4

Simple rice pilafs like this one often accompany kebabs or vegetarian dishes in tavernas throughout the Mediterranean. Fragrant basmati rice is a particularly good choice for this dish, as each grain holds its shape and resists gumminess. If sautéed chicken livers are added, the dish is known as ic pilav.


  • 2 cups long-grain white rice, preferably basmati
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus salt to taste
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 4 chicken livers, optional
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or ground allspice
  • 3 cups chicken stock or equal parts chicken stock and water
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley or dill


In a bowl, combine the rice with the 2 teaspoons salt, and pour in the boiling water. Stir well and let stand until the water is cold.

Meanwhile, if using the chicken livers, in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the 2 tablespoons butter. Add the livers, and sauté until browned and firm but still pink in the center, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then chop coarsely. Set aside.

Drain the rice and rinse well under cool running water. Drain again and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 1/4 cup butter. Add the onion and pine nuts, and sauté until pale golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until opaque, about 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon or allspice, the stock or stock and water, currants and chicken livers, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Uncover the pan, drape a folded kitchen towel over the pan and replace the lid. Cook over very low heat for 10 minutes longer. Turn off the heat and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with the parsley or dill and serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2236

nutrition information per serving

565 calories; 15g total fat; 31mg cholesterol; 1300mg sodium; 91g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 14g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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