Basic Pilaf

2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup white rice
1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned will work fine; use the juice), optional
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Put butter or oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and a large pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion turns translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is glossy and begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add tomatoes, if desired, and stir for a minute; add stock (the smaller amount if you use tomatoes), and stir. Bring mixture to a boil, cook for a minute or two, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook about 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn heat to absolute minimum, and cook another 15 to 30 minutes; if stove is electric, turn heat off and let pan sit on burner for same amount of time. Stir in parsley and lemon juice, and serve.

from Bitten.