Leek and Carrot Rice Pilaf

1 08 2014

Here’s a great rice pilaf recipe for a quick weeknight side dish. I like using whole wheat orzo and brown rice for a healthier starch. This is also versatile, you can easily swap out the leek and carrot for other veggies you have on hand.

Leek and Carrot Rice Pilaf

The following serves 4 (adapted from Rachael Ray):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped onion or shallot
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 leek, white and green parts, chopped
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 and 1/4 cups brown rice
  • 3 and 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 lemon zested, and some of the lemon juice
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute a few minutes. Add orzo and toast, stirring occasionally, until deep brown and beginning to smell nutty. Add garlic, leeks and carrots and saute a few minutes until they begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Next, add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and cook until the stock evaporates.

Next add the rice, the remaining 3 cups of stock and the lemon zest. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Cook 15 – 20 minutes covered and on low, until rice is tender and liquid is almost evaporated. Remove lid, stir and season with more salt if needed. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Serve alongside a protein of your choice. Pictured here is grilled quartered chicken.

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