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Rice Pilaf

Autumn Rice Pilaf

Delight your guests this Thanksgiving with Chef Jim May’s Autumn Rice Pilaf recipe. A fragrant and delicious Armenian Rice Pilaf with a winery twist that is the perfect side dish for the holidays. With savory buttery rice, tender noodles, dried fruits, toasted pistachios, and a touch of festive spices, it’s truly a perfect pairing to any Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir!

Recommended Pairing: 2020 Campbell Ranch, Pinot Noir

Ingredients and Directions

Serves 8 as a side dish


  • 4 T. butter
  • 2 oz. vermicelli or other thin pasta
  • 2 c. long grain rice
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 t. salt (to taste)
  • 3-4 T. butter
  • ½ c. shelled pistachios
  • ½ c. dried apricots, cut into slivers
  • ¼ c. dried currants or raisins
  • ¼ c. dried cherries, chopped
  • ½ c. pomegranate seeds, optional garnish


Bring broth to a simmer in a covered saucepan.

Melt butter over medium-low heat in another large saucepan. Break vermicelli into small 1-inch pieces, Add to the pan along with the rice and cook, stirring until coated with butter. Add simmering broth and salt and cook covered over low heat until liquid is absorbed about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Arrange pilaf on a large platter and top with fruit topping.

In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat. When melted add nuts, apricots, raisins, and cherries. Stir until the mixture is heated through. Pour over the pilaf. Garnish with pomegranate seeds if desired. Serve with turkey, chicken, lamb, or pork. Can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Pairs perfectly with Papapietro Perry 2020 Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir.