The Best Dishes To Pair With Rice Pilaf

dish of rice pilaf
dish of rice pilaf - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Rice pilaf is a great go-to side dish when you're looking for a delicious accompaniment to dinner. There are more versions of rice pilaf than you might think, which can make finding the perfect pairing a bit of a challenge. That's why Daily Meal sought the expertise of chef Jenn Segal, who dispenses her impressive culinary wisdom at Once Upon a Chef — Tested & Perfected Recipes. Segal agrees that rice pilaf is a highly versatile dish when it comes to pairings, but there are certain foods that match the preparation beautifully.

According to the chef, rice pilaf is ideal with "grilled or roasted meats like chicken, lamb, or beef because it complements the rich flavors without overpowering them." For those unaware, rice pilaf refers to a specific technique that entails cooking rice with flavorful ingredients like garlic and incorporating the rice with a liquid, such as vegetable stock. There are many variations to this basic recipe, however, which is illustrated by Segal's multi-faceted pairing recommendation. You can even incorporate meat directly into the dish, as in this saffron rice pilaf with lamb meatballs recipe.

Read more: 5 Rice Brands To Buy, And 5 To Avoid

Rice Pilaf Also Pairs Well With Seafood And Vegetables

salmon over rice and vegetables
salmon over rice and vegetables - gkrphoto/Shutterstock

Rice pilaf isn't only reserved for meat dishes. Food blogger Jenn Segal also recommends seafood pairings if you want to diversify your dinnertime options beyond terrestrial animals. According to the chef, "It goes well with seafood, such as shrimp or salmon." In this case, seared salmon with a lemon butter sauce is a wonderful main course. To ensure the flavor of each dish meshes well, flavor the rice pilaf with the juice and zest of lemon or some other type of citrus fruit.

Segal also has a plant-based recommendation. She says, "For a vegetarian option, pair it with roasted vegetables or a hearty stew." While flavors are key in food pairings, don't underestimate the impact of a nice textural contrast. In this case, there's one ingredient, cornstarch, that you need for crispy roast veggies, which can help balance the softness of your rice dish. As for vegetable stews, opt for robust vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, carrots, potatoes, and celery for a satisfying meal. Segal's sage advice proves that rice pilaf is as adaptable as it is pleasing to the palate.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.