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Brown Rice Pilaf with Bitter Greens, Olives, and Orange

Nutty toasty brown rice and pungent peppery greens—love them both! Take juicy sweet-tart citrus, assertive salty green olives, and crunchy roasted peanuts and mix them in for this flavor-forward brown rice pilaf with bitter greens, olives, and orange, a nutritious dish I find hard to resist.

Brown Rice Pilaf with Bitter Greens, Olives, and Orange

Like beer and coffee, bitter pungent greens are an acquired taste. I mean, when you were 9 years old, did you appreciate them? For me, bitter greens were bad news. I didn’t care if they were vitamin-rich good for me. Where along the line of growing up do we learn to savor leafy vegetables like mustard greens?

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ingredients for Brown Rice Pilaf with Bitter Greens, Olives, and Orange
Our CSA farm share folks have a penchant for planting bitter greens because they grow well in mountain climates with short growing seasons. Finding interesting leafy greens in our weekly share box is a regular thing. When we found a bunch of spicy variegated purple-bronze-green mustard greens in the pick, I decided to make this pilaf.

To me, a the word pilaf sounds elegant, much more sexy than rice with stuff mixed in. Pilafs always begin by first browning the rice in oil or butter before cooking it in stock or broth. A pilaf, aka pilau can be seasoned however you want, with chopped veggies, and proteins like meat or poultry.

This particular brown rice pilaf is cooked with a blend of orange and lemon juices and vegetable broth that’s been seasoned with garlic, cumin seeds, and a bit of sweet, like maple syrup or honey. Here, it’s a fresh bright side dish. Add black-eyed peas or a faux meat like soysage, and this pilaf becomes a vegetarian, actually vegan, gluten free main dish.

Ready to mix skillet of Brown Rice Pilaf with Bitter Greens, Olives, and Orange

To pressure cook brown rice pilaf:

  • Side dish or main dish, using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, this healthy pilaf comes together in half the time, about 45 minutes.
  • Sauté the rice in oil with the garlic and cumin, stir in the cooking liquid, and lock the pressure cooker lid in place. Set the timer for 25 minutes for the Instant Pot, or for 25 minutes after your stove-top cooker comes to pressure.
  • Release the pressure cooker immediately by turning the Instant Pot dial to Vent or running the stove-top pressure cooker under cold water.

Pressure cooker or regular stove-top cooking, when the rice is done, immediately stir in the mustard greens so they wilt with the heat of the rice. Add the rest of the ingredients and serve, ta-da!

Brown Rice Pilaf with Bitter Greens, Olives, and Orange on plate rectangle

Brown Rice Pilaf with Bitter Greens, Olives, and Orange recipe notes:

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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  • Sara

    I made this tonight, super easy, healthy and absolutely delicious, thank you 💖 Reply · 6 April, 2020

    • You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Reply · 6 April, 2020

5 from 1 vote

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