You can fold all the toppings into the rice and it’ll still be delicious—but you won’t get as much of a wow factor.
- ⅓ cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 large carrots, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds on a mandoline
- 8 scallions, dark green parts and white parts separated, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
- ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 cup mixed unsweetened dried fruit (such as golden raisins, cranberries, and/or sour cherries)
Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange pistachios and almonds on opposite sides of a rimmed baking sheet and toast, shaking pan gently halfway through, until almonds are golden brown and pistachios are slightly darkened, 6–8 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop pistachios.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Cook carrots, stirring occasionally, until softened but haven't taken on any color, 8–10 minutes. Stir in sugar and a pinch of salt and cook until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute more. Transfer carrot mixture to a medium bowl.
Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in same pot over medium. Cook scallion whites and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4–6 minutes. Stir in rice, red pepper flakes, cardamom, cinnamon, and turmeric; cook, stirring often, until some grains are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 3¾ cups water, season with 1 Tbsp. salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender, 15–18 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter and orange zest, and fluff rice with a fork. Cover pot and let rice steam 10 minutes.
Spoon pilaf onto a platter. Top with neatly defined rows of dried fruit, almonds, pistachios, carrots, and scallion greens.