The secret to a fantastic rice pilaf, according to Cuban photographer Romulo Yanes, is twofold: Use plenty of olive oil, and toast the rice until each grain is well coated and translucent. Slideshow: More Jasmine Rice Recipes
Heat oil in a large saucepan over high until shimmering. Add rice and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until edges of grains are translucent and each grain is coated with oil, 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Add salt and 5 cups water and cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a full boil. Reduce heat to medium and let rice simmer vigorously, without stirring, until half of the water is absorbed, 7 to 8 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook, without stirring, until water is completely absorbed, about 15 minutes. (Tilt the pan, if needed, to see if any water remains.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice gently with a fork; cover and keep warm until ready to serve.