I made the following recipe for our California Wine Country dinner as a side dish to go with our main entree. It's a great way to jazz up plain rice with fresh herbs and the toasted nuts add a nice texture too!
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped fine
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (I used pecans)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt until just softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until edges begin to turn translucen, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf and fluff rice with fork. Stir in almonds and parsley. Season with salt and serve. (Rice can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 day.)