Pistachio pilav with spinach and herbs

Pistachio pilav with spinach and herbs

Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

This is a lovely vibrant-green pilav, full of herbs and crunchy pistachios. It makes a particularly good accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken dishes – and I would always serve it with yoghurt on the side.


Quantity Ingredient
200g long-grain or basmati rice
400ml * chicken stock [rid:9962]
or 400ml water
80g butter
1 onion, finely diced
550g spinach leaves, washed and shredded
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
80g unsalted pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, shredded
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, shredded
1/2 cup dill, chopped


  1. Put the rice into a large bowl and rinse well under cold running water, working your fingers through it to loosen the starch. Drain off the milky water and repeat until the water runs clear. Cover the rice with cold water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse a final time.
  2. Bring the stock to the boil, then lower the heat and keep at a simmer.
  3. Melt half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and sauté over a low–medium heat, stirring continuously until it starts to soften. Increase the heat, then add the spinach and stir well until any moisture has evaporated. Add the rice to the pan, then season with salt and pepper and pour in the simmering stock. Return to the boil, stir briefly, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over a very low heat for 12 minutes.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Add the pistachios and sauté over a medium heat, stirring continuously until the butter foams and the nuts start to colour. Tip the browned nuts into the pan of rice with the herbs. Don’t stir! Replace the lid and return the pan to a very low heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and use a fork to fluff up the grains and stir through the herbs and nuts. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover the pan with a clean, folded tea towel, then replace the lid and leave it to stand for 15–20 minutes. To serve, tip the rice onto a serving platter and fluff the grains up with a fork.
Middle Eastern
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