Rice and Vermicelli Pilaf

Combining pasta with a grain is fairly common in Eastern European cuisine, as well as Middle Eastern. Here’s one such pilaf, which makes for a simple and tasty side dish.

Serves: 6 to 8 as a side dish

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice (try aromatic Basmati)
  • 4 ounces vermicelli (thin spaghetti)
  • 2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine, such as Earth Balance
  • 4 finely chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika, plus additional for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Stir in the rice, then cover and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes.

Shortly before the rice is done, bring water to a simmer in another saucepan. Break the vermicelli in half, then in half again. Cook it in rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.

Combine the rice and vermicelli in a large serving container. Add the margarine and toss to melt. Stir in the scallions, half of the chopped parsley, and the paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the top with the remaining parsley and a little additional paprika, and serve.

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