Recipe: Rice pilaf with pomegranate-glazed carrots
1½ hours. Serves 6
5 large carrots, diagonally sliced about 3/8-inch thick
1 medium-large onion, quartered lengthwise, sliced crosswise about ¼-inch thick
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Pinch of salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons pomegranate paste, or to taste
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the carrots and onion in a roasting pan. Drizzle the vegetables with 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Stir the mixture and spread it in the pan. Roast the vegetables, stirring every 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine the pomegranate paste with the honey, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the sugar, cinnamon and cayenne, if desired. Mix well. Taste, and add more pomegranate paste or sugar if desired.
3. Add the pomegranate mixture to the roasted vegetables and mix thoroughly. Continue to roast the mixture, stirring two or three times, until the vegetables are coated with the sauce, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a warm bowl, scraping in the juices from the pan. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt, cayenne or sugar if needed.
Rice pilaf with pomegranate-glazed carrots
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 cups Basmati rice (about 14 ounces)
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 cups hot water
4 teaspoons slivered fresh mint
1/4 cup pomegranate arils, from ½ pomegranate
1. Heat the oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet, stirring once, until they brown very lightly, about 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a plate.
2. Put the rice in a bowl, cover it generously with water and swirl the rice in the water with your hand. Drain the rice well.
3. Heat the oil in a shallow stew pan. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is tender and beginning to turn golden, about 8 minutes.
4. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add the salt, the bay leaf and the hot water. Stir once and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook over very low heat, without stirring, until the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Set it aside off heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Fluff the rice gently with a fork to break up any clumps.
5. Reheat the glazed carrots if necessary. To serve, spoon about half the rice into a shallow serving bowl. Top with a layer of about half of the glazed carrots and sprinkle them with about half the mint. Cover with the remaining rice, mounding it slightly. Top the mound of rice with the remaining carrots. Sprinkle with the pomegranate arils, the toasted almonds and the remaining mint.
Protein 8 grams
Carbohydrates 81 grams
Fiber 4 grams
Fat 20 grams
Saturated fat 3 grams
Sugar 20 grams
Sodium 459 mg
NOTE: The carrots can also be served separately as a side dish. Pomegranate paste, also called pomegranate molasses or pomegranate concentrate, can be found at Middle Eastern and natural food stores and in some supermarkets.
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