Mediterranean Yellow Rice is seasoned with garlic, cumin, and cilantro. Easy to make in 30 minutes, this turmeric rice pairs well with any entree. And a sprinkling of pine nuts gives this Mediterranean rice pilaf an extra layer of flavor. This versatile recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Mediterranean Rice Pilaf
It's common in the Mediterranean diet to find rice that is flavored with different herbs and spices rather than served plain.
And dishes like this turmeric rice compliment all sorts of entrees and other sides.
But while I often make rice in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, making it on the stove is almost as easy and takes about the same total time.
Does rice need to be rinsed before cooking?
I admit that I often forget to do it, but Yes, You Should Be Rinsing Your Rice.
This extra step will result in fluffier rice that doesn't stick together.
Sticky rice may be fine in Thai desserts and sushi, but that's not the texture we're going for here when making Mediterranean Yellow Rice.
How to cook yellow rice on the stove
This stove top method for making Mediterranean rice is really easy.
- Saute onions in olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the spices and rice. Stir for a couple of minutes until the rice starts to turn translucent.
- Stir in the water and bring to a simmer.
- Lower the heat, cover the pot, and allow the rice to cook and absorb the liquid.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Place a clean dish towel under the lid.
- Allow the rice to steam for a few minutes, then fluff it with a fork.
How to make Mediterranean rice pilaf
Once the rice is ready, it's time to stir in our extras that make this Mediterranean Yellow Rice recipe special.
In this case, we have toasted pine nuts and fresh cilantro.
If you want to make a nut-free pilaf, try adding some hemp seeds instead.
Cooking with turmeric
Turmeric adds a unique flavor and color to recipes.
And it's also a natural anti-inflammatory.
However, you may notice that this vivid yellow-orange spice has a tendency to color everything it comes in contact with.
That's great for our Mediterranean Yellow Rice.
But it's not very desirable when it comes to fabrics, counters, and skin.
If you end up with yellow anywhere it shouldn't be, check out the guide How to Get Rid of Turmeric Stains Your Dishes, Lines, Counters, and Fingers.
Mediterranean Yellow Rice Recipe
This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
Even if you're cooking for one or two people, I recommend making the entire batch because the leftovers are wonderful reheated.
And it will last refrigerated for a week.
And once you try this stove top method for cooking long-grain white rice, you may never go back to your old ways.
Note: if you would like to make this recipe with long-grain brown rice, you will need to add about ½ cup extra water. In addition, the cooking time will be longer.
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Mediterranean Yellow Rice
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onions and saute until softened and slightly translucent.
- Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper, and rice to the pot. Stir frequently for a couple of minutes until the rice starts to look translucent.
- Stir in the water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and allow the rice to gently simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Lift up the lid and lay a clean dish towel over the top. Replace the lid on top of the towel and allow the rice to steam for 5-10 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and fold in the pine nuts and cilantro. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, as needed. Serve.