Carolina Gold Rice Pilaf

Recipe submitted by: John Messner

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 cups Carolina Gold rice
  • 3 1/4 cups chicken broth or stock (homemade is best)
  • 1/8 tsp orange extract
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A pinch of saffron strands or 1/8 tsp ground saffron
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy, wide, lidded pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion, red pepper, and salt. Sweat the onions and peppers until aromatic, stirring constantly. (Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Also, do not cook until completely tender. They will continue to soften as the rice cooks later). Add the rice and stir to coat. Continue stirring until rice smells nutty. Add chicken broth, orange extract, saffron and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Stir once, then place lid on pan and bake for 15 minutes. In a separate pan, dry toast the pine nuts until lightly browned. (Keep the pan moving at all times. The nuts can burn very quickly.) Turn out onto a plate lined with a paper towel. Put to the side to cool. Rest the pilaf at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes without removing the cover.