Spring Pilaf with Tzatziki

by Jonathan Cheung

A colourful one-pot meal, you can opt to do in your rice cooker – a yummy springtime or anytime meal.

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  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted Butter
  • 1 small Onion, diced
  • 1 medium Carrot, peeled, trimmed & cut in rounds
  • 2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 2 cups/500mL Dainty Basmati Rice
  • 1 tsp Saffron (optional)
  • 3 1/2 cups/875mL Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 cup/250mL frozen Peas
  • 1 small bunch Watercress or Arugula, washed
  • Salt & Pepper


  • 1 cup/250mL Greek Yogourt
  • 1/2 English Cucumber, grated & squeezed dry (in a dishcloth)
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced fine
  • 1 sprig Mint, chopped
  • Zest of 1/2 a Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper



Heat a large sauté pan with a fitted lid over medium high heat. When hot, add the oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the onion, carrot and celery. Sauté until the onions become translucent, about 3-4 minutes.


Add in the rice and stir all together. Pour in the stock, the saffron if using, and the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low and cover. Allow to cook for 15 minutes.


Once cooking is done, turn off the heat. Quickly scatter the frozen peas over top and cover right away. Allow to rest for 10 minutes off the heat.


DO IT IN YOUR RICE COOKER - Follow Step 1 above in a sauté pan and then add the sautéd onion, carrot & celery to your rice cooker. Proceed with Step 2 and press 'Cook'.


Tzatziki - In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, mint, and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.


To serve, place the watercress or arugula over top and serve with the tzatziki on the side.

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