Grain & Legumes

Armenian Pilaf with Raisins and Almonds

What would any holiday be without serving traditional pilaf? Christine Vartanian Datian learned from the best – her mother Alice Vartanian and her late grandmother, Pepay Sarkisian. They taught her how to prepare many holiday dishes including this festive nut-and fruit-topped pilaf.

Christine’s recipe for Armenian Pilaf with Raisins and Almonds was originally published in the New York Times 2014 Thanksgiving Food Blog.

This updated version of a family favorite is in demand, especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

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Armenian Pilaf with Raisins and Almonds

A festive version of a classic pilaf recipe that is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup dried vermicelli crushed or broken into pieces- may substitute Angel hair pasta
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups fat-skimmed chicken or turkey broth
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper black or white
  • ½ cup almonds, preferably Marcona if available coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup raisins, golden or black coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup frozen petite peas
  • tbsp fresh flat leaf Italian parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Break vermicelli into 1-inch lengths.  Add pasta and rice to 3 tablespoons butter and stir often until golden, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the broth, allspice, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until rice is tender to bite, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in an 8- to 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat, melt remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons butter.  Add the almonds, and stir often until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the raisins and stir until they puff, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  • Stir peas, parsley, and lemon juice into rice.  Cover and simmer until peas are hot, about 3-4 minutes, and remove from heat.  Allow pilaf to sit another 10 minutes.  When the liquid is fully absorbed, it is ready to serve.  Serve pilaf in a bowl or on a platter and sprinkle with the raisin and nut mixture.

Notes

Diced dried dates, pistachios, and apricots may also be used in this topping.

References:

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016976-armenian-rice-pilaf-with-raisins-and-almonds

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