Rice Pilaf, Plain And Fancy
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, preferably basmati
- 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups water or chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
- Rinse the rice in a strainer and let it drain.
- Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- When hot, add the onion.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and turn the heat down to medium.
- Stir frequently until the rice is glossy, completely coated with oil, and starting to turn golden, another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add 2 1/4 cups water all at once.
- Stir once or twice just to incorporate the liquid and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Adjust the heat so it bubbles; cover the pan.
- Cook the rice until it is almost dry and craters appear on the surface, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Taste to make sure it's almost fully tender; if the liquid is absorbed but the rice is still too firm, add another 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes, then taste again.
- Turn the heat as low as possible and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Just before serving, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and fluff the pilaf.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, fluff again, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.