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Fennel Pilaf with Toasted Cumin and Golden Raisins

(recipe, Megan Scott)

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  1. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  2. ½ fennel bulb, diced; fronds removed and reserved
  3. 1 leek, minced
  4. 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  5. 1 cup long-grain white rice, such as basmati or jasmine
  6. ¼ cup golden raisins
  7. 2 cups water or chicken or vegetable stock
  8. ½ tsp. salt
  9. Chopped toasted pistachios or walnuts (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the fennel and leek. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and sauté briefly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated in oil. Stir in the raisins, liquid, and salt. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
  3. To serve, fluff the rice with a fork. Top with chopped fennel fronds and toasted nuts, if desired.