Recipe: Root Vegetable Rice Pilaf

Root Vegetable Rice Pilaf

I’ve been trying to add more vegetables to my family’s diet, which is always a challenge with my two meat eating guys. Lately I’ve been really inspired by the neglected root vegetables, and this time around I reached for beets and my super favorite, the rutabaga. Have you ever had a rutabaga? Try it once and you’ll never make a stew without it. It’s like a carrot and a radish had a beautiful albino baby.

Rice Pilaf is a dish I learned in cooking school. Growing up I thought it was what came out of a box and had those weird black rice pieces in it. Now I know that pilaf is actually a cooking method. You coat the grains of rice in fat before adding the liquid, and that keeps them fluffy and separated. Then you braise it all in a liquid while you leave it undisturbed. It makes a simple and delicious side, and most of the work happens while it cooks without you. This is a great time management meal.

Root Vegetable Rice Pilaf
1/2 cup butter
3 rutabagas, small diced
3 beets, small diced
4 large shallots, small diced
4 cups rice
8 cups chicken broth

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the vegetables. Keep the heat low and sweat until softened. Add the rice and stir until each grain is coated in butter. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover until all the liquid is absorbed. Eat.

The beets will color everything else in this dish and make it come out in the most beautiful shades of orange and red. You really can’t get a more festive side dish for your Thanksgiving table, and it’s a great change up from the typical mashed potatoes.