Pico de Gallo Rice Pilaf

24 03 2012

Who doesn’t enjoy a little margarita night after a long work week?!?! I sure do! And what’s a margarita night without a little Mexican food! I made this rice pilaf to compliment the salty margaritas and other appetizers we were serving, but the recipe would also be great as a side dish to tacos. It’s delicious warm or at room temp, so this is also a great pot luck go-to recipe.

Pico de Gallo Rice Pilaf

The following makes 4 servings (compliments of Rachel Ray):

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup white or brown rice (I prefer substituting brown rice where I can)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 – 4 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely chopped (if they are large that day you probably only need 3)
  • 1 small onion (red or white), finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • Handful of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large lime, zested and juiced
  • Salt
  • This Girl’s extras: About 1 cup of cooked frozen corn and Queso Fresco cheese and an avocado, both chopped

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add the orzo and toast until deep golden. Stir in the rice and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 17 to 18 minutes.

Cook the corn according to the package while the rice is working.

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime zest and juice (add the cheese and avocado right at the end and gently combine). Season with salt, to taste.

When rice is cooked, fluff with a fork, stir in the corn and salsa. Taste and adjust salt and add more lime juice as necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with southwestern spiced tortilla chips for an appetizer (the Tostitos artisan southwestern tortilla chips is a great choice), or as a side dish to tacos. Don’t forget the salty margaritas too!!

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