Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Dried Apricot and Cranberry Pilaf

Dried Apricot and Cranberry Pilaf

Rice is the perfect vehicle for a wide range of flavors, both sweet and savory. I’m a fan of the subtle aroma of jasmine rice, but any long grain will work. Dried apricots and cranberries are evocative of the season and give this pilaf a sweet-tart taste, but feel free to use whatever dried fruits you like, instead of or even in addition to. When sprinkled on the finished dish, the fresh orange zest gives it a wonderful perfume. I love to use a Microplane grater because it makes such a fine zest, and it’s so easy to move over the entire surface of the peel to get all the goodness.


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
  • 2-1/4 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon or more orange zest 
  • Pinch of cinnamon, optional


In a covered saucepan over medium-low heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the rice, stirring to coat it in the oil. (This helps keep the grains distinct in the finished dish.) Stir in the broth and increase the heat to medium. Bring to a low boil, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir in the apricots and cranberries and remove the pan from the heat. Put the cover back on, wait another 5 minutes, and then fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the almonds, parsley, and freshly ground pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and grate the orange zest right over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.

Yields 4 servings.