Although its origins are attributed to Lebanon, this rice pilaf is served throughout the Eastern Mediterranean to accompany stews, grilled meats, seafood, and stuffed vegetable dishes. Using lightly browned vermicelli noodles is common in many rice dishes of the region. This side dish is easy enough to whip together for a weeknight meal or a formal Mediterranean dinner party.
Lebanese Rice Pilaf with Vermicelli
- 2 saucepans
- ¾ cup Vermicelli noodles, broken into one-inch lengths
- 1½ tbsp Butter
- 1½ tsp Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ cup Long-grain rice
- 3 cups Water
- 1½ tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp Each: ground cinnamon and freshly ground pepper
- Boil 3 cups water. In a separate 2 quart saucepan with cover, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Add vermicelli pieces and stir about 2 minutes until golden. Add rice and stir to glaze, about 1 minute. Add boiling water and allow everything to boil for 1 minute.Cover and simmer over low heat for 18 minutes. Remove from heat. Place a folded paper towel over the rice and put cover back on. Let it rest for 10 minutes.To serve, sprinkle salt, cinnamon, and pepper over rice and fluff rice with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual plates as a side and serve.
- If you have the time, soak the rice in hot water for an hour before using to get an extremely tender grain of rice. Drain and then follow directions as written except reduce the boiling water by a half cup and cook time from 18 to 13 minutes.