When my friend Bill got his first apartment he invited a bunch of us over for dinner. From his recently acquired James Beard cookbook he learned to make rice pilaf. Rich and buttery with lots of Bell peppers, it became his signature dish. I have over the long past years, enjoyed rice pilaf at Bill’s house many times.
I had already learned to make an oven-baked pilaf from Aunt Margie. Over the years I sometime made pilaf in the oven like Aunt Margie, and sometimes I prepared it on the stove top like Bill. From my sister’s in-laws I learned to make pilaf Armenian-style with bits of pasta mixed with the rice. And I have I have tinkered with the recipes all the while.
From all of those experiences I have developed this, my favorite rice pilaf in its most basic form. I have also found that pilaf can be a catch-all dish that you can add just about any of your favorite or left-over foods. Add some slivered almonds for a nice crunch. Some frozen peas or peas and carrots add color and substance to the dish. Do you have some left over chicken? Shredded or chopped and added to the pilaf the once dish now become an entrée. Let your imagination be your guide to some good eating.