2 cups long grain rice
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 stick butter
1 cup finely minced onion
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
2/3 small finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. Frank Davis Vegetable Seasoning
1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 cup coiled vermicelli, uncooked
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup slivered almonds + 3 Tbsp. butter
First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Then wash the rice in colander several times under cool running water. When it’d done, let it stand and drain for a few minutes.
Next, heat the olive oil and the butter in a heavy skillet and sauté the onion, celery, bell pepper, carrots, and mushrooms until they begin to wilt.
Then drop in the diced tomatoes and half of the parsley and continue to cook the ingredients over medium heat for about 6 minutes until tender.
At this point, crumble the vermicelli into medium-size pieces and brown it lightly along with the mirapoix of veggies (for about another 5 minutes). Now season the pan with the vegetable seasoning mix, the black pepper, and the salt and toss everything thoroughly until fully combined. Now transfer the contents of the skillet to a large buttered baking pan or casserole dish.
Then in a separate saucepan bring the vegetable broth to a rolling boil and pour it evenly over the rice mixture.
At this stage, all that’s left to do is to cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake the pilaf in the oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour (I suggest you stir the rice once after 30 minutes then again after 45 minutes).
Finish up the dish by removing the pan from the oven and allowing the rice to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
When you’re ready to eat, fluff the pilaf with two serving forks, top the casserole with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter so that it melts evenly into the rice, then garnish with the remaining parsley and butter-toasted slivered almonds (the easiest way to do that is to brown them quickly in 4 tablespoons of sizzling butter—but watch them carefully so that they don’t burn!).
Serve piping hot with almost any entrée!