Cranberry, sprout & pecan pilaf

Cranberry, sprout & pecan pilaf

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 55 mins plus 1 hr soaking

More effort

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side
This Persian inspired spiced rice dish makes a hearty vegetarian main, a side dish to roast meats, or an attractive addition to a Boxing Day buffet

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (6)

  • kcal480
  • fat30g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre8g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.2g
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  • 200g mixed basmati & wild rice
  • 5 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large onion, finely sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and cut into chunks



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • small bunch coriander, stalks roughly chopped, leaves chilled for later
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • juice and zest 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 500g Brussels sprouts, half finely sliced, the rest halved through the stalk
    Brussels sprouts

    Brussels sprouts

    bruss-ell spr-ow-t

    The quintessential Christmas dinner veg, Brussels sprouts are thought to have been cultivated in…

  • 100g pecans
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

  • 100g fresh cranberries


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • 50g dried cranberries


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • 50g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • natural yogurt, to serve


  1. Put the rice in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 1 hr. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook for 10 mins, stirring now and then, until caramelised. While the onion cooks, whizz the ginger, garlic, coriander stalks, spices, lemon juice and zest to a paste in the small bowl of a food processor. Tip into the pan and fry for 5 mins more until aromatic. Scoop the paste and onion out of the pan and set aside, then heat 1 tbsp more oil. Add the sliced sprouts and cook for 8-10 mins, stirring, until softened. Add the paste back to the pan and cook everything together for 1 min more.

  2. When the rice has had its soaking time, drain and tip into a pan, cover with fresh water and season with salt. Simmer for 5 mins until just softening, then drain.

  3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the halved sprouts in a roasting tin with 1 tbsp oil and season well. Roast for 20-25 mins, shaking the pan now and then, until the edges are starting to brown and the sprouts are tender.

  4. Meanwhile, mix the rice in the pan with the sliced sprouts, the onion and paste. Add the pecans and all the cranberries, season and mix well. Heat the butter and remaining oil in the pan you cooked the rice in, then tip in the rice mixture and flatten the surface. Poke 3 steam holes in the rice with a wooden spoon, and turn the heat to almost its lowest setting. Cover the pan with a tea towel, then a lid, and cook for 20 mins until the rice is cooked through - if it is still a little firm to bite, re-cover and cook for a further 5 mins. To serve, tip the cooked rice onto a serving platter, mixing any crunchy bits from the bottom of the pan. Scatter over the roasted sprouts and coriander leaves, and serve with a pot of natural yogurt.

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th Jan, 2018
This was lovely and you can get similar results without some of the additional faff. For example, my blender isn't great for making spice pastes so I just threw all of those ingredients into the pan with the onion (garlic and ginger finely chopped) then added the sliced sprouts and sautéed them altogether. I didn't have enough pecans so substituted half the amount with hazelnuts. This is a comforting dish but feels quite healthy, especially post Christmas!
22nd Jan, 2016
Super good! Exchanged pecan for hazelnut and fresh cranberry for pomegranate - a success. Next time will make with lamb rack to entertain in-laws.
2nd Mar, 2015
Marked alongside 'fragrant roast chicken'. Beautiful.
16th Dec, 2014
This is any amazingly satisfying dish! Used cashews instead of pecans. The different textures and flavours are well worth all the steps. The family loved it!
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