Cucumber-Avocado Rice Pilaf

Classic rice pilaf is brightened with pureed cucumber and diced avocado
35 Ratings
100% would make again
Rice with avocado
Photo: Katie Foster/Tasting Table

Rice is the perfect side dish to soak up teriyaki sauce from grilled tuna skewers. In this pilaf recipe from the Hungry Pigeon in Philadelphia, pureed cucumber and diced avocado are tossed in for a vibrant summery rice dish.

Cooking a pilaf in the oven is a culinary-school staple technique. For perfect rice every time, make sure the water is simmering before you cover, then quickly transfer to the oven. The heat in the oven will maintain the simmer and cook the rice fully in 20 minutes.

To learn more, read "Night Shift."

Cucumber-Avocado Rice Pilaf

Recipe adapted from Scott Schroeder and Pat O'Malley, Hungry Pigeon, Philadelphia, PA

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


⅓ cup canola oil

½ yellow onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups long-grain rice

2 cups, plus 1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste

1 cup small diced cucumber, divided

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and small dice

2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish


1. Heat the oven to 400º. In a 4-quart, ovenproof saucepan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden brown, 7 minutes. Add the rice and toast until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in the water and salt and bring to a simmer.

2. Once simmering, quickly place a lid on the pan and transfer to the oven. Cook until the rice is tender, 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes with the lid still on.

3. Meanwhile, place ½ cup of the diced cucumber in a blender or small food processor and puree until smooth. Add to the rice with the remaining ingredients and fluff with a fork to incorporate. Season with salt. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with cilantro and sliced scallions.

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