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Turkish Pilaf

Like saffron rice, this dish can also be served lukewarm, or even cold.
It is a rice dish served on special occasions, such as Friday nights and festivals.
Turkey is famous for its apricots, golden raisins, and pistachio nuts–all of which are exported to the United States.
Rinse the rice ahead of time to remove excess starch.

ingredients

serves 8
2 1/2 tablespoons oil
2 cups long-grain rice
1 quart water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup split blanched almonds
1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

method

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over high heat.

2. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until all the grains are coated.

3. Add water and salt and cover the pan with a cloth, then with the lid.

4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a dry, nonstick skillet.

6. When they start to give off their characteristic aroma—in about 5 minutes—they are ready.

7. Remove the rice from the heat; it should have absorbed all the liquid. If not, return rice to the heat uncovered for a few minutes to finish evaporation.

8. Transfer rice to a large bowl and stir in the almonds, pistachios, raisins, and apricots.

9. Serve the rice heaped in a mound on a serving platter; or press it into a ring mold brushed with oil, then unmold to give rice an attractive shape on a platter. Decorate with sprigs of fresh greens, such as coriander leaves (cilantro), watercress, or mache.

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