Sometimes I decide I’m going to make dinner. And sometimes I don’t fully think through what I’m making until I’m in the process of making it. And sometimes that means I make a side dish for dinner and Will has to come to the rescue! However, whether or not this was intended to be a side dish, it was quite good and extremely simple to make. The reason I tried it was because I had some vermicelli left over from the Chicken Sausage Pilaf and figured I should use it in another recipe. What I didn’t plan for was the vermicelli taking forever to break up into tiny pieces-what a pain! So I gave up on that because my butter was almost burning, so I needed to get the rice/onion/vermicelli in quickly. Anywho, from there it was pretty smooth sailing. I think this would also be a good dish to have as a side to a simple chicken recipe, like Chicken Piccatta or Honey Balsamic Chicken.

Cooking Notes: It took me forever to break the vermicelli up into the tiny pieces it was supposed to be in, so I just eventually gave up and made it small “enough.” You can also use almonds in place of pine nuts, but the idea of browning pine nuts was much more appealing to me. Also genius me decided to serve this as a dinner, even though it should be a side dish-Will added the glazed carrots to fill out the flavor some more and make it more substantial for dinner.

Ruz Mufalfal (Brown Rice with Vermicelli) (adapted from Extending the Table; serves 2 for dinner, 4 as a side dish)
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup vermicelli noodles, finely broken into pieces 1/2 inch in length
2 cup broth
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 medium carrot
Olive oil
Fresh rosemary and thyme


Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the rice, onion, and vermicelli, stirring constantly to brown (the onion is the best way to tell this). Add the broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 25 minutes or more. While the rice mixture is cooking, take a little more butter and melt it. Toss in the pine nuts and stir until browned. Also, cook the carrot in a little bit of olive oil while the rice is cooking. When the carrot is ready, sprinkle some fresh herbs over it before serving over the rice.

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