Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onion, Orange, Cherry & Pistachio Recipe

Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onion, Orange, Cherry & Pistachio Recipe

Photos of Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onion, Orange, Cherry & Pistachio Recipe

How To Make Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onion, Orange, Cherry & Pistachio

Spiced just perfectly with cumin and cinnamon, the unique flavors of this rice pilaf is the perfect accompaniment to salmon or chicken.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes



  • 4tbspunsalted butter
  • 3mediumonions,finely diced
  • ½tspground cumin
  • ½tspground cinnamon
  • tspsalt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • orange,(zest and juice)
  • ¾cupsweetened dried tart cherries
  • cuplong-grain white rice
  • ¾cupunsalted shelled pistachios


  1. Set a liquid measuring cup with about half cup of water next to the stove. In a 12-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.

  2. Add the sliced onions, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are meltingly tender and a rich, deep caramel color. To help the caramelization process along and prevent the onions from burning, deglaze the pan every so often with a few tablespoons of water.

  3. Add the cumin and cinnamon and stir well. Reduce the heat to low and cook one minute more, stirring occasionally, to allow the onion to absorb the flavors of the spices and caramelize a bit more. Season with salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Set aside.

  4. Pour the orange juice over the cherries in a small bowl to hydrate them, if necessary adding enough water to cover completely. Set aside.

  5. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned.

  6. Add the rice and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, reduce the heat to low, and stir well to coat each grain with butter. Toast for a full 5 minutes, stirring regularly to keep the grains separated and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

  7. Add 2½ cups water, stir once, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let the pilaf sit, still covered, for 5 minutes.

  8. Once the pilaf has rested, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Strain the cherries and discard the orange juice.

  9. Using the fork, gently fold in the cherries, caramelized onions, pistachios, and ¼ teaspoon packed orange zest. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper and orange zest, if desired.


  • Calories: 282.62kcal
  • Fat: 11.36g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.38g
  • Trans Fat: 0.23g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.35g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.89g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.66g
  • Fiber: 2.81g
  • Sugar: 5.79g
  • Protein: 5.68g
  • Cholesterol: 15.26mg
  • Sodium: 307.28mg
  • Calcium: 41.90mg
  • Potassium: 282.16mg
  • Iron: 1.04mg
  • Vitamin A: 62.75µg
  • Vitamin C: 16.06mg
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