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Rice Pilaf with Carmelized Onions

This rice pilaf is so yummy, thanks to the long-cooked, intensely sweet onions. To get the full affect of this dish, don't take a shortcut. Cook and onions slow and long. It will be worth the time.

extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions, thin half moon slices
sea salt
mirin or white wine
4-5 slices fresh ginger, fine matchstick pieces
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 small parsnip, finely diced
1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soymilk
1/2 cup pecans, lightly oven-roasted, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, lightly pan-toasted
2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
brown rice vinegar
2-3 fresh scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish

Place about 2 tablespoons oil and red onion in a skillet and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a generous pinch of salt and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add a generous sprinkle of mirin to the onions and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to caramelize, as long as 20 minutes.

While the onions cook, place another 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet with ginger, carrot, parsnip and a generous pinch of salt. Turn heat to medium and when the vegetables begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and saute. Add milk and simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in pecans and pumpkin seeds, just to coat with oil. Add rice, a generous splash of vinegar and stir to combine ingredients. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with caramelized onions. Serve garnished with scallions.

Makes 4-6 servings.  


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