Tired of steamed rice? We’ve got the perfect recipe for butter, herb, and garlic rice pilaf for you. Make your dinner a little bit more delicious and exciting with this simple yet striking rice side dish.
Sometimes we just have the need to create awesome side dishes most especially when we know that our main dish is going to be even more amazing. This also works if you know that you won’t get a lot from your main dish.
There are numerous recipes for different kinds of rice dishes. You have paella, risotto, fried rice, toasted rice, and so on. Out of all of these different rice dishes, rice pilaf is the simplest to make and to be honest, it doesn’t upstage the main course – and this is what the perfect side dish does. It stays delicious and perfect while keeping the main star of the show under the spotlight.
Delicious side dishes are also all about uplifting the existing flavors on the table.
What is rice pilaf?
Before we move forward, we have to define what rice pilaf is first.
Like we said earlier, there are many different ways to cook rice. It’s an exciting side dish that to be honest, we love having because it completes meals and it makes us a little bit more full.
Normal rice is cooked in boiling water until the rice grains absorb the water and soften. This is how we often prepare rice and this is how rice cookers cook our rice.
Rice pilaf on the other hand requires the rice grains to be sautéed in different aromatics and herbs before cooking in a broth. What’s special about rice pilaf is that it is lightly flavored with all of these fragrant herbs and broth. The rice is then cooked in broth until the rice absorbs all the liquid.
Rice pilaf vs. Risotto
Rice pilaf and risotto are very similar to each other but they produce different results. Rice pilaf is sautéed in aromatics before cooking with stock. Risotto is cooked the same way, sautéed in aromatics and cooked in stock as well. However, the difference is the kind of rice used for cooking.
Rice pilaf is typically using Jasmine rice or rice grains that are looser. Risotto uses Arborio rice, a special kind of rice that is sticky and released a lot of starch while cooking.
Risotto is also like the rice version of pasta meaning that you can cook it with different kinds of vegetables and protein to create the “sauce” for the rice. Rice pilaf focuses more on aromatic and simple vegetables to create a subtle rice dish. Risotto is finished off with a slab of butter to make the rice extra creamy. Rice pilaf can be finished off with butter but it doesn’t get creamy like risotto. If it does, you probably cooked it wrong.
Can rice pilaf be made ahead of time?
Rice pilaf can be made ahead of time, unlike risotto.
When risotto is made ahead of time, the rice typically stiffens and it’s not so pleasant.
Making rice pilaf is just like cooking rice. It can be made ahead of time and you can store it and reheat it.
- Jasmine Rice
To make rice pilaf, you need loose rice. Jasmine grains are perfect for making this and they also have a good aroma.
You can use any kind of butter you like. Since this recipe doesn’t use salt, you can use salted butter to add a little bit of sodium to the dish.
Garlic is important in this recipe. It’s important not to add too much garlic because you don’t want it to overpower the dish.
Coarsely chop the parsley.
These two herbs go so well together. They’re a good mix so it’s nice to chop them together to make prep easier for you.
- Chicken Broth
You can either make your own chicken stock with chicken bones or you can use instant chicken broth too.
Tips and Tricks
- Chop the herbs together
Lessen the hassle and chop the herbs together. You’ll be cooking everything in one go anyway.
- Use salted butter
This dish doesn’t really need salt because it’s supposed to be a subtle rice side dish. Use salted butter to flavor it a little.
- Let it rest
When the rice is cook, let it rest for 10 minutes before fluffy the rice. Be sure to do this subtly as not to break any grain.
How to make butter, herb, and garlic rice pilaf
First, make sure you have all your ingredients.
Rinse the rice carefully until the water runs clear.
Under medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the garlic, parsley, thyme, and rosemary in a medium-deep saucepot. Add the rice and sauté it until lightly toasted. Pour in the chicken broth and then cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes until low heat.
When the rice is cooked, let it rest for 10 minutes before fluffy.
Fluff and serve.
What to serve with rice pilaf
Rice pilaf makes a delicious side dish for a lot of mains. Since this rice pilaf has a buttery and herby flavor, we suggest you serve this with the following:
- Herby pan grilled snapper
- Pan grilled tilapia
- Grilled pork chops
- Roast beef
- Beet Stew
- Fish Stew
- Barbecued pork or beef