Sunday, February 13, 2011

rice pilaf with apricots, chickpeas, and almonds

Friday night I made rice pilaf with apricots, chickpeas, and almonds,* which I have in my cookbook but is available to you HERE. I'm a sucker for any recipe that calls for smoked paprika, because every time I use it I'm reminded that I live in a town where I can actually find smoked paprika. I used to hoard my special spices-- not anymore!

I sauteed my onion and garlic, then stirred in the smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. I added brown rice (I just used regular brown rice, not basmati), and then stirred in fresh orange juice, wine, and water. I let it simmer a while, called my aunt, and chatted with EDW. Then I stirred in cooked chickpeas, chopped apricots (I upped the amount to a whole bag-- 6 ounces-- per the recipe's note online), and parsley. I stirred in toasted almonds and couldn't get the bowls to the table fast enough.
I did have to add a bit of water to my pot during the cooktime, because the liquid was evaporating faster than my rice was cooking. In all honesty, I pulled the pot off the stove too soon-- our rice was very al dente. But I was hungry, and I'd already scarfed down my spinach salad while leaning against the sink, and I just couldn't wait any longer.

Edwin and I really enjoyed this. The flavors are amazing, and we both agree this dish would be phenomenal if the rice was fully cooked. Even still, it was tasty for dinner and made great leftovers. When we reheated the pilaf, we had it over a bed of spinach, and that way was delicious. I'll make this again when I'm not so starving and have a bit more time. Bittman, Mark. The Food Matters Cookbook. "Rice Pilaf with Apricots, Chickpeas, and Almonds." p. 295-6.

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