Turkish Pilaf

For Tu B'Shevat (the holiday celebrating the New Year of Trees), it is traditional to serve foods containing fruits and nuts that grow on trees. This pilaf, with the apricots, figs, pine nuts, and almonds is perfect for the occasion. Although it is not traditional, I like to prepare this dish with basmati rice. The texture combines beautifully with the fruit and nuts. This is best made with Mediterranean style apricots and moist dried figs. If the fruit is not moist, soak it briefly in water before beginning the dish. I serve Turkish Pilaf with veal or beef stew, brisket or roast beef or lamb. This pilaf is an adaptation of a recipe originally printed in The Cook's Magazine, November/December, 1984.


Yield: 10 servings
Preheat oven to 400°. Sauté pine nuts and almonds in oil and remove to a plate. Add onions to the oil, and sauté until soft (1 minute). Add rice, sauté until translucent, stir in reserved pine nuts, almonds, figs and apricots, cinnamon, saffron, salt, pepper, and stock. Bring to boil. Press waxed paper onto rice, cover, and bake 20 minutes. If you prefer, you can cook the rice (after sautéing) in the microwave. Do not overcook, however, because the dish should not be dry.
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