Brown Rice Pilaf with Green Olives and Lemon Recipe

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Steve Published: July 5, 2021

How To Make Brown Rice Pilaf with Green Olives and Lemon

While it is most commonly known as a Middle-Eastern dish, this brown rice pilaf gets a Mediterranean twist with some added lemon and green olives.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes



  • 2tbspextra virgin olive oil
  • 2medium onions
  • 6clovegarlic
  • 10cupswater
  • 3cupsshort grain brown rice
  • 1sprigthyme
  • 1bay leaf
  • kosher salt
  • cupssmall green olives,pitted
  • ½cupflat leaf parsley,chopped
  • ¼cupbasil,chopped
  • 24basil leaves
  • 3tbspfresh lemon juice
  • 1tbsplemon zest,grated
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4ozgoat cheese,aged


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook over moderate heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

  2. Add the water, rice, thyme, and bay leaf and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.

  3. Stir 1 tablespoon of salt into the rice. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has been absorbed.

  4. Remove from the heat; discard the bay leaf and thyme. Stir in the olives, parsley, chopped basil, lemon juice, and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

  5. Spoon the rice into bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with the goat cheese and basil leaves; serve.


  • Calories: 247.63kcal
  • Fat: 7.34g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.20g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3.85g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.92g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.03g
  • Fiber: 2.77g
  • Sugar: 1.00g
  • Protein: 5.98g
  • Cholesterol: 4.35mg
  • Sodium: 691.33mg
  • Calcium: 60.29mg
  • Potassium: 203.99mg
  • Iron: 1.53mg
  • Vitamin A: 44.96µg
  • Vitamin C: 7.96mg
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