New take on rice pilaf

We all love recipes that can be tinkered with.

Once you master a basic simple recipe, half the fun is adding your own ingredients to give it a life of its own.

This can be leftovers, stray vegies in the crisper or the last of the crop in the garden.

A good versatile recipe can also be divided if you are feeding those who have different dietary requirements; this rice pilaf is a simple and nutritious dish that you can tailor to suit different needs.

Easy rice pilaf

INGREDIENTS:

  1/3 cup dried brown lentils

  1/2 cup water

 500ml chicken or vegetable stock

  1/2 cup brown rice

  1/2 cup wild rice

  1/2 red capsicum, seeded and pith removed, chopped  

 4 green onions, chopped  

 50g almonds  

 50g currants or sultanas  

 50g pepitas (pumpkin seeds)  

 4 tbs olive oil  

 2 tbs lemon juice  

 salt and pepper to taste  

 fresh herbs, to garnish  

optional: 100g feta, cubed or 150g butternut pumpkin, cubed and roasted or 100g firm tofu or 150g cooked shredded chicken or 150g shredded ham.

METHOD: Soak lentils in the water overnight. You can use drained canned lentils or substitute drained canned chickpeas instead - if you do, there is no need to soak or cook them in the next step. Just add to the cooked rice mixture. Bring stock to the boil and add rice, drained soaked lentils and wild rice. Cover and reduce heat, steam for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Leave for 10 minutes. Add capsicum, green onion, almonds, dried fruit and pepitas. Mix well.

Combine oil and lemon juice in a screw-topped jar and shake well to combine. Pour over rice and season to taste. Add any optional ingredients if desired. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve warm or cold. Serves 4.

Email Maggie at maggies.column@bigpond.com or check out her blog herebemonstersblog.com



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