recently i was asked what a pilaf is – “a dish in which a grain, such as rice or cracked wheat, is browned in oil, and then cooked in a seasoned broth” according to wikipedia. i tend to make my pilafs with rice and love having them as an accompaniment to a roast (roasted tomato and fennel pilaf was a recent choice to accompany some slow-roasted lamb) or as a meal in the own right (my mackerel and spinach pilaf is a much loved favourite).
they are incredibly versatile, using up whatever you happen to have in and good served hot or just at room temperature (which makes them an ideal packed lunch option).
adding protein to the pilaf is something i usually do with fish or meat but in this bill granger recipe he suggests lentils which works really well. in fact the dish as a whole was great – the lamb cutlets are marinated with a mix of spices and the accompanying tomato sauce is spiked with ginger, chilli and garlic. perfect, with some flat breads, as a cosy supper when you need something comforting but still want to be reminded of summer’s light days and fresh flavours.