Spring Rice Pilaf with Vegetables, Arugula and Cheese

A variety of veggies add a touch of springtime to this beautiful pilaf.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta or broken spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces on an angle
  • 1 carrot, cut into short matchsticks
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus the juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 bunch arugula, chopped
  • About 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Melt the butter in a medium size pot over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until nutty and deep golden brown.

Add the EVOO, one turn of the pan, then the asparagus, carrot, shallots and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook to sweat the vegetables a bit, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, rice, lemon zest, thyme and browned pasta and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer until the rice is just tender, 16-18 minutes. Fold in the arugula, then stir in the lemon juice and cheese.

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray