This variation of rice pilaf gets a refreshing tang from lemon zest and lemon juice. It’s a delightful change of pace and incredibly easy to make. The lemon flavor is not overwhelming. The butter and Parmesan cheese add a creaminess that is hard to resist. It’s the perfect side dish for chicken, fish, or just about any entree. Leftovers? Doubtful.
Lemon Butter Rice Recipe
1 fresh lemon
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
1/4 cup minced celery, optional
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup jasmine rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the shelf-stable stuff)
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley or chives
Grate the zest from the lemon using a microplane. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out 1-1/2 tablespoons (about 1/2 lemon) of juice. Set both aside.
Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Gently saute the onions and celery until softened, but not browned. Add the garlic and saute an additional 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the rice and stir until glossy and coated with the butter.
Carefully add the chicken broth, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Stir and bring to a low boil. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time.
Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley or chives. Fluff, and serve.
Yield: 6 servings
• Substitute your favorite white rice for the jasmine rice, such as long- or short-grain white rice, arborio, etc., but not instant or converted (par-boiled) varieties. Timing may vary if you substitute.
• Add your favorite frozen veggies 10 minutes into the cooking time. Peas, rice, asparagus, and/or mixed vegetables are good options.
• Vegetable broth may be substituted for the chicken broth to suit vegetarian tastes.