Photo by Marcus Nilsson

You can fold all the toppings into the rice and it’ll still be delicious—but you’ll get maximum wow factor if you create a pattern with them on top.  


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8 servings


    • 8 scallions
    • ⅓ cup sliced almonds
    • ⅓ cup raw pistachios
    • 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
    • 2 large carrots, peeled, thinly sliced into coins on a mandoline
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
    • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 3 cups long-grain rice, rinsed until water runs clear
    • ¾ tsp. ground cardamom
    • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
    • ¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    • ¾ tsp. ground turmeric
    • 1 cup mixed unsweetened dried fruit (such as golden raisins, tart cherries, and/or cranberries)


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Separate dark green parts from scallions; thinly slice dark green parts and white and pale green parts, keeping them separate. Set aside. Arrange almonds and pistachios on opposite sides of a rimmed baking sheet and toast until almonds are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove almonds from baking sheet and toss pistachios. Return baking sheet with pistachios to oven and toast until golden brown, about 4 minutes longer. Let cool.
    2. Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but without having taken on any color, 10–12 minutes. Stir in sugar and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Transfer carrots to a medium bowl.
    3. Melt another 4 Tbsp. butter in the same pot over medium. Add garlic and reserved pale green and white parts of scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but without taking on any color, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, cardamom, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and turmeric and cook, stirring often, until some grains are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp. salt and 3¾ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer until rice is tender, 25–30 minutes. Remove pot from heat; let sit 10 minutes to allow rice to steam longer.
    4. While rice is cooking, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add dried fruit and cook, stirring often, until fruit is plumped and softened, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
    5. Add remaining 3 Tbsp. butter to rice and fluff with a fork. Spoon pilaf onto a large platter. Top with neatly defined rows of dried fruit, almonds, pistachios, carrots, and reserved scallion greens, or, if you prefer, mix all the toppings into the rice before arranging on the platter.

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