Pomegranate, Pistachio and Orange Pilaf

I could have taken fifty pictures of this beautiful dish. It sparkles like a treasure chest full of gems. It's flavors are savory and slightly exotic, and it makes a great side, or serve it with a salad and you've got a whole meal.

Rinse the rice in a strainer moving it around so it all get rinsed and the water runs clear and not cloudy.

Cut the peel of the orange in strips about this wide and then julienne them into very thin strips.

I had some of these little rainbow carrots , so I used them. The purple ones are orange inside and the orange ones are yellow. Gorgeous!

Pomegranate, Pistachio and Orange Pilaf

2 cups basmati rice

1 orange

3 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1/4 tsp cinnamon

salt to taste

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

1 cup, give or take, carrots, cut into matchstick pieces

1 tsp. sugar

small handful of roasted pistachios

pomegranate seeds from half a large pomegranate

3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

A sprinkling of sumac if you have it.

Put the rice in a strainer and rinse it until the water runs clear. Cut the zest from the orange with a very sharp knife into wide strips, getting the least amount of white pith as you can. Cut the zest into fine julienne. Squeeze the juice from the orange into the stock.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy saucepan. If you have an enamel pot like a Le Cruset, use it for this. You will never make rice another way. Saute the onion until it is lightly browned. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute. Next add the rice and the cinnamon and stir until the rice begins to toast and the cinnamon becomes fragrant. Pour all of the stock in the pot and bring it to a boil. Make sure it's boiling in the center, not just at the edges. Once it it there, put the lid on the pot, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Don't touch the rice until 15 minutes are up, unless it smells as if the rice is burning on the bottom. This will not happen in a cast iron enamel pot.

While the rice is cooking, heat the rest of the butter in a saute pan and saute the carrots until they are just tender. Remove them to a plate, add the orange zest and sugar and saute for a minute or 2 until they are slightly caramelized. Remove them from the heat. When the rice is finished cooking, remove the lid, season the rice with salt to taste. Fluff the rice making sure to mix the onion that has probably settled on top through the rice. Turn out into a bowl or platter and lightly fork in the carrots and zest. Sprinkle everything else on top and as it is served, some of all the goodies will fall into the serving spoon.

This serves about 6 and it is equally delicious or perhaps better as leftovers.