Savory Brown Rice Pilaf

This charming pilaf is a great accompaniment to poultry or seafood dishes. It is also a lovely dish on its own. The nutty flavor of the rice combines with the salty ham, crunchy water chestnuts and herbs. Leftovers make a good base for a stir fry.

6 servings


1 ½ cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon butter
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¾ cup long grain brown rice* 
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, julienne
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
2 tablespoons dry white wine
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  1. Bring the chicken stock, half teaspoon butter, 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. 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 Italian parsley. Toss until heated through. Deglaze with the wine.
  4. Mix the cooked rice with this mixture. Pour into the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil.
  5. Bake for forty five minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Taste, Think, Transform with black pepper. 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.

Lilly Stenbroten