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Crab Pilaf

March/April 2008

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Pilaf originated in Persia; the word refers to any rice dish in which the rice is sautéed in a little oil or butter and then simmered with seasoned liquid. Variations take off from there—this version combines springtime herbs, asparagus and crab for a delectable main-dish pilaf. Serve with a glass of iced tea and a tossed salad.



READER'S COMMENT:
"I made this dish at Christmas for a family gathering, and it was a big hit with them, and with me - baking it in the oven makes it super easy, and it was delicious! Even the people who usually turn their noses up at brown rice were happy...
Crab Pilaf Recipe

Makes: 6 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 small leeks, or 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat, any shells or cartilage removed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon, or dill
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut leeks in half lengthwise; rinse thoroughly under water. Cut crosswise into thin slices, place in a colander and rinse again.
  3. Melt butter in a large ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in rice; cook, stirring frequently, until the grains become somewhat translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in mustard, salt and pepper until combined. Pour in broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits.
  4. Cover the pan. Bake the rice for 40 minutes. Then sprinkle asparagus and crab over the rice, replace the cover and continue baking until the rice and asparagus are tender, about 15 minutes more. Stir in tarragon (or dill). Serve with lemon wedges.

Tips & Notes

  • Test Kitchen Note: Perfectly cooked rice is not simple. In fact, it's something that we struggle with occasionally in the Test Kitchen. To have the most success cooking whole-grain rice, we recommend using a pan with a tight-fitting lid, cooking on your coolest (or simmer) burner and making sure the rice is simmering at the “lowest bubble.” While testing the recipes that use less than 1 cup of dry rice, we found that the cooking time varied greatly depending on what stove we used. Although whole-grain rice usually requires 50 minutes of cooking, we found smaller volumes of rice were sometimes done in as little as 30 minutes (and burned at 50 minutes). So, when cooking a small batch of rice, start checking it after 30 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn.

Nutrition

Per serving: 233 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono); 49 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 12 g protein; 4 g fiber; 515 mg sodium; 153 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (30% daily value), Iron (25% dv), Vitamin C (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat



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Recipe Categories

Servings
6
Main Ingredient
Shellfish
Preparation/ Technique
Bake
Saute
Meal/Course
Dinner

Season
Spring
Summer
Ethnic/Regional
American
Ease of Preparation
Easy
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Publication
March/April 2008

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