richly-flavored Middle Eastern rice and lentil pilaf
studded with pine nuts and chopped dried apricots.
the pine nuts in a large saucepan over medium heat until
lightly browned, then remove from the pan and set aside.
HEAT 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan over
medium heat and cook the onion for 3 minutes. ADD the
carrot and green pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. ADD the garlic, cumin, coriander and cinnamon
and cook, stirring, for a minute. ADD the rice and stir
to coat the grains with oil and spices. ADD the lentils,
apricots, stock and salt and bring to the boil. COVER
with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20
minutes without lifting the lid. FLUFF the rice with
a fork and gently stir through the toasted pine nuts,
cilantro, lemon juice, and reserved tablespoon of olive
The lentils can be replaced with chickpeas or
shelled fava beans. You can use pistachios, sliced almonds,
walnuts, or hazelnuts in place of the pine nuts (or
combined with them). Instead of using cilantro as the
fresh herb, you can use fresh flat-leaf parsley or mint.
And dates, figs, or raisins can replace the dried apricots.