Greek Rice Pilaf

Greek Rice Pilaf-Moosewood Cooks at Home

A few weeks back, I had a pretty nice supply of fresh spinach. I started looking for some recipes, and this one was quite out of my comfort zone, but I chose it because it could be made ahead and served at room temperature. This is a great recipe to help you fool your husband. It looks like you slaved away all day, but your kitchen is perfectly clean when he gets home because the food was made earlier in the day. I served it with a sandwich and hardly had any dishes to clean after dinner.

I love the more unusual flavors (in my cooking)--mint and dill, especially mixed. And I loved the great variety of greens in the dish. The original recipe called for spinach and peas. I needed the peas for a curry and used sugar snaps instead. The first time I made the pilaf, I used the spinach, but the second time I used zucchini because that's what I had on hand. I'm happy to make it either way except the spinach requires an extra step of pre-cooking and squeezing the water out before cooking the onions and adding the flavorings.

Make this dish faster by using leftover rice instead of cooking it the day-of. Also, don't let final recipe be in the fridge too long. It has a short 3-day-or-less life as the rice will dry out. After refrigerating overnight, I do nuke it in the microwave to take the chill off. This is another great, gluten-free and optional-vegan dish to bring to a potluck because it presents well and still tastes great at room temp. I also love how you can play with the variety of veggies, too!

Oh, I almost forgot to share that I used a salty Pecorino instead of the feta cheese because I forgot to buy feta at the store and used what I had on hand. I will probably always stick with the Pecorino. But definitely remember to add salt--for sure if you don't use the cheese and likely if you do. For some reason the original recipe didn't call for it.

Recipe for Greek Rice Pilaf

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 8 oz. zucchini (one small-medium), diced small
  • 1 medium-large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shaved Pecorino cheese (original recipe calls for feta)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • Sallt and black pepper to taste

In your largest pan, saute onions on high until beginning to soften. Add zucchini and heat until cooked through and getting soft. Add sugar snap peas to defrost. Stir in rice and seasonings: lemon juice, herbs, and black pepper. Serve warm or place in bowl to serve at room temp. Top with shaved cheese.

Eating Vegetarian: