Savory Herb and Ham Rice Pilaf

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Savory Herb and Ham Rice Pilaf

This charming pilaf is a great accompaniment to poultry or seafood dishes. It is also a lovely dish on its own served with a side of sautéed vegetables. The rice and herbs combines with the salty ham and crunchy water chestnuts for a very tasty side dish. Leftovers make a good base for a stir fry. (Scroll down for a plant-based recipe substitute).

6 side servings

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups chicken broth (boxed or on page 103 of Sharing the Table)

½ teaspoon butter

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup long grain basmati rice, rinsed

¾ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons butter

2 small cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup Canadian bacon, small diced

2 each green onions (scallions) thinly sliced

1 (5 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained, washed, julienne

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced (divided in half)

2 tablespoons dry white wine

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1.     Bring the chicken stock, half teaspoon butter, dried basil, dried thyme and salt to a boil. Add the rice and return to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for fifteen minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for ten minutes covered.

2.     Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a one quart baking dish.

3.     Melt two tablespoons butter in a sauté pan over medium low heat. Add the garlic and Canadian bacon. Sauté for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the green onions, water chestnuts, rosemary and two tablespoons Italian parsley. Toss until thoroughly heated. Deglaze with the wine.

4.     Mix the cooked rice with this mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil.

5.     Bake for thirty minutes or until heated thoroughly. Fluff with a fork. Taste, Think, Transform with black pepper. Garnish with the remaining fresh parsley. Serve hot.

ONWARD:

To turn this into a plant based recipe is very simple. First change the chicken stock to vegetable broth. Next, a savory substitute for ham naturally is mushrooms. Brown rice will give a nutty flavor that enhances the overall appeal. If you wish to be completely vegan you may also substitute extra virgin olive oil for the butter, or not. Your choice.

Savory Herb and Mushroom Brown Rice Pilaf

6 side servings

INGREDIENTS:

2 ½ cups vegetable broth (boxed or on page 104 of Sharing the Table)

½ teaspoon butter

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup long grain brown rice*

¾ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 small cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup mushrooms, small diced

2 each green onions (scallions) thinly sliced

1 (5 ounce) can water chestnuts, julienne

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

4 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced (divided in half)

2 tablespoons dry white wine

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1.     Bring the vegetable broth, half teaspoon olive oil, dried basil, dried thyme and salt to a boil. Add the brown rice and return to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for thirty five minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for ten minutes covered.

2.     Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a one quart baking dish.

3.     Heat a sauté pan over medium low heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the green onions, water chestnuts, rosemary and Italian parsley. Toss until heated. Deglaze with the wine.

4.     Mix the cooked rice with this mixture. Pour into the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil.

5.     Bake for thirty minutes or until heated thoroughly. Fluff with a fork. Taste, Think, Transform with salt and/or black pepper. Garnish with the remaining fresh parsley Serve hot.

*Preferably Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley made from long grain brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds, which makes for a more interesting blend.

 

Linda Hierholzer