Monday, 10 October 2011

october roots

Brown rice salad with sweet potato, prune, apricot

It's finally hit me.

I tried to avoid it.

I ignored all the signs.

I have a cold...

At least it's an excuse to lay low for a while and feel a little seasonal. I wondered why I'd been craving chai tea, sweet potato, and extra cinnamon in my porridge.

This is a very 'warming' rice salad, inspired by Ottolenghi (of course) and includes what I was crying out for:

A few ingredients
  • 200g of brown rice
  • 2 small sweet potatoes (or 1 large), chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • handful of pistachio nuts, lightly toasted
  • handful of pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 4-5 dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 4-5 prunes, finely chopped
  • handful of coriander
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Boil the rice until al dente, and set aside to cool.

The raw sweet potato ready for roasting

While the rice is boiling, chop up the sweet potato and put into a deep non stick oven pan. Throw in the garlic (un-peeled). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle sumac, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper ontop, making sure to cover every piece. Pop in the oven to roast for about 25-35 minutes, on about 200'C. Occasionally check on the sweet potato and stir well.

Be careful not to burn! Toasting pistachio and pine nuts

Lightly toast the pistachio nuts and pine nuts and set aside, with the chopped spring onion, dried apricots, prunes and coriander.

Once the rice has cooled, add all the ingredients and toss together. Mix in the cooked sweet potato and extract the garlic pulp, and add the lemon juice and another little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I marinated some chicken breast in the same sweet potato spices and pan fried. Alternatively, eat a larger portion of the rice for a packed lunch and add some chopped feta cheese.

Pan fry a little chicken to go with...

If you're still stuck for ideas with that roasted sweet potato, try having on a bed of rocket and sprinkle with feta and toasted pine nuts for a lunch or light supper...

Need another idea?

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