Rice Pilaf with Leeks and Saffron is a great side dish and easy to make cooked in broth with vegetables and herbs. Pilaf and similar dishes are common to Balkan, Caribbean, Central Asian, East African, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and South Asian cuisines. Kozani red saffron is popular spice that add flavor, color and aroma to rice dishes.

Rice Pilaf with Leeks and Saffron

Simple and easy to make dish perfect for vegetarians or served as a side dish to meat.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Greece
Keyword: rice
Servings: 4


  • 5 cup vegetable stock
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large leeks finely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb finely chopped
  • 1 cup Greek Carolina rice or short-grain rice
  • 3 lb mild Greek or Mediterranean sheep's milk cheese
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • salt
  • 15 Kozani red saffron threads


  • In a large pot add the vegetable stock and heat it up then leave it aside.
  • Over medium heat add a skillet with oil and sauté the leeks with the garlic and fennel bulb.
  • Then add the rice, stir well and start pouring in the wine. After is absorbed, a little of the hot broth and stir well until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Use as much broth as you can until the rice is tender by adding more hot broth when the liquid is absorbed and add salt and pepper.
  • Mix in a small cup the saffron with 2 tbsp hot broth and pour it over the risotto just 5 minutes before removing it from the heat.
  • When ready grate on top the sheep cheese and serve hot.

Inspiration and adaptation: fandom.com, dianekochilas.com, thereaderwiki.com

Explore other recipes from the traditional Greek cuisine.

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