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1 large onion, grated or minced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ C. pine nuts, toasted
1 tsp. allspice
1 C. uncooked white or brown rice
1/3 C. currants
¼ C. parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp. mint leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp. dill, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)
Salt and fresh milled pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
Put the onion in a wide saucepan with oil, pine nuts, and allspice. Cook over medium heat until the onion is soft for 6-8 minutes. Add the rice, currants, and herbs and cook for a few minutes more. Season with ½ tsp salt and a little pepper, then add the water – 2 cups for white rice, 2-¼ cups for brown – and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 18-20 minutes for white, 40 or longer for brown. Toss gently with the chickpeas and let stand for 10 minutes for the chickpeas to heat through.
Variations with Lentils: in place of all or a portion of the chickpeas, use cooked lentils, preferably the French green ones.
Notes: Serve this light pilaf with grilled or braised vegetables or use as a filling for eggplant, zucchini, stuffed cabbage, or grape leaves.