Buttery Mediterranean rice pilafs are my favorite wintry side dishes. With lots of dried fruit, spices and nuts, I’m all about the variety of textures and flavors they have to offer.
It didn’t occur to me until this year that a hearty basmati pilaf belonged at my family’s holiday table. I usually throw together a dish like this at home, as a side dish when my husband and I are having some protein heavy main dish. But with lots of warming spices, and colorful bits of fruit, a good pilaf is pretty darn festive, and certainly holiday-worthy if you ask me.
I’ve played around with a couple of Mediterranean favorites in the past, including mujadara and jeweled rice, but this time around I gave myself a little challenge: I wanted to create a lightened up dish inspired by these classic pilafs, but without sacrificing flavor. The answer: cauliflower rice!
Because I love basmati rice so much, I didn’t want to give it up, so I decided to do a blend of cauliflower rice and basmati. I wasn’t completely sure I’d like the result. As it turned out, I loved it. The dish actually benefited from the addition of some cauliflower. Like I said before, a great pilaf is all about the variety of textures and flavors, and cauliflower rice just adds a bit of both – a little crunch and savory taste to balance out the sweet, mellow and spicy flavors you’d otherwise find in the dish.
New Recipes Every Week!Get email updates from Oh My Veggies