Looking for an elegant side dish for your Christmas feast? How about a simple, but filling, meat-free weeknight dinner?

Loaded Rice Pilaf may be just what you're looking for.

For years this was my go-to company dish, served alongside my Chicken Marsala or Chicken Normandy, and is adapted from a recipe by Chef James Beard. It makes a great side dish for roast beef or Salisbury steak.

I also discovered, however, the more I load it up (you could throw a handful of sliced mushrooms in as well) the more I realized how filling it was and that it could easily stand on its own as the main part of a light supper.

Either way you serve it, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Loaded Rice Pilaf

Makes four servings

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons oil

One-half cup chopped onion

1 cup rice

2 cups boiling beef stock

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt, if needed

Three-quarter cup slivered almonds, toasted

One-half cup raisins, reconstituted in one-half cup of white wine or stock

1 cup frozen peas

Heat butter and oil in a heavy skillet, add onion and cook until translucent. Add rice and stir over low heat until grains are lightly coated with oil and have lost their raw color, about 3-5 minutes. Add beef stock, stir and season to taste. Bring to a boil and cover, simmer over low heat, about 20-25 minutes until rice is cooked through and soft.

Add toasted almonds, raisins and peas. Toss and serve.

For more Comfort & Joy recipes, visit www.tnonline.com/lifestyle/comfort-and-joy.