Fort Rice Pilaf

  • Serves

    serves 6


This 19th-century American recipe for rice pilaf from the Denver, Colorado, restaurant The Fort draws sweetness from dried fruit, earthiness from black quinoa and pine nuts, and crunch and color from bell pepper. It first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2014 SAVEUR 100 issue with the article Sam Arnold.


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 12 cup dried currants
  • 2 tbsp. dried barberries or currants
  • 18 tsp. saffron threads
  • 12 cup black or regular quinoa, rinsed
  • 12 cup olive oil
  • 12 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 small green bell pepper. stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste


Step 1

Bring rice, currants, barberries, saffron, and 2 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, until rice is tender, 12–14 minutes. Uncover, and transfer to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Step 2

Add quinoa to pan; add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, until quinoa is tender, 12–14 minutes. Uncover and transfer to bowl with rice. Stir in oil, pine nuts, bell peppers, salt, and white pepper.

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