Pic of Kale, fruit and nut pilaf

Kale, fruit and nut pilaf

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Vegetarian mains

Kale, fruit and nut pilaf

Main Serves 2 50 min
The kale and cranberries give this spiced rice dish a Christmassy colouring so it's a good one to serve as a healthy meal among all the rich food around. If you've got a large, deep frying pan and want to double the quantities to serve 4, then it should fit, otherwise use a large heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish. Red Russian and curly kale (leaves stripped from tougher stalks) work best here. It can be made with cavolo nero, but in that case it's best to boil the leaves, refresh, chop and add them at the end of cooking.


  • 150g brown basmati rice
  • oil for frying, e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 50g raisins
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 200g red Russian or curly kale, chopped if the leaves are large
  • 50g chopped nuts (e.g. hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds or walnuts), toasted (see tip)
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
Image of Kale, fruit and nut pilaf


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 40 min
  • Step 1

    Put the rice in a bowl of cold water to soak. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, deep frying pan or wide saucepan. Add the onion and fry on a low heat for 10–15 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. If it looks like catching at any point, add a splash of water.
  • Step 2

    Drain the rice and add to the onion with the garam masala, then stir. Add the wine and simmer until it's almost all been absorbed by the rice. Add the dried cranberries, raisins and stock and season with salt and pepper. Simmer on a low boil for 15 minutes, then cover and steam for 5 minutes (if your pan doesn't have a lid, use a large piece of foil).
  • Step 3

    Add the kale, cover again and steam for a further 5 minutes or so, until the kale has gently wilted (not collapsed) and the rice is just tender (brown rice still has a nutty bite once cooked). Stir in the nuts, add a squeeze of lemon juice and more seasoning to taste.

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