I met today’s special guest in Adelaide last year at Eat Drink Blog after being a big fan of her blog for a year before. Erin posts tempting recipes on her blog She Cooks She Gardens but what I’m even more envious of is her wonderful backyard vege garden.
I’ll be taking a few tips from Erin when I start planning my new garden. She has whipped up delicious winter salad using an ingredient I am yet to play with – pomegranate. Over to you Erin.
Hello! My name is Erin and I write over at ‘she cooks, she gardens’. When Claire contacted me about guest postingwhile she was away I was more than happy to oblige.
I first crossed paths with Claire back in 2011 when my blog was in its infancy. We both took part in ‘Cookbook Club’hosted by Kay-Lynn monkylicious and cooked from AdamLiaw’s book ‘Two Asian Kitchens’. I made HainaneseChicken Rice and it was one of my first proper forays in the kitchen with a camera.
Since then I’ve watched Claire’s blog go from strength to strength and grow into the great site that it is today. The amount of content she is able to churn out is impressive and I’ve made (and stashed!) many of her recipes over the last few years.
I thought I would submit this recipe, a winter brown rice salad, as my guest post as it is a great example of the kind of dish you will find over on my blog and packed into my bag for the working week. It keeps well and tastes great – even after a couple of days in the fridge.
I was vegetarian for a couple of years and even though I’ve started eating meat again, dishes like this are still high on rotation in my kitchen. I enjoy the simplicity of meat-free cooking and in many ways it lends itself to greater levels of experimentation.
I find putting together a dish like to be a therapeutic process of combining flavours and textures. Roasting the cauliflower while the rice cooks brings out a nuttiness you simply can’t get from frying and the pomegranate adds that tart crunch that’s needed to lift it from the nutty base on which it comfortably rests.
When everything is ready to go it is easy to simply toss everything together in the roasting pan, soaking up all those wonderful oils and aromas from the roasting process. Dressed with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon, the salad is also kind to your waistline.
If you’re new to Pomegranates then now is the perfect time of year to get into them as they are in season and therefore at their best. I know a lot of people shy away from cooking with them and for many years I had no idea how I would even go about accessing the deliciousness. Then I came across this handy video and my life suddenly changed. Give it a shot; it’s much easier and not nearly as messy as other more conventional methods. If nothing else, you get to work through some of that pent up frustration and in return you get delicious pomegranate arils.
Thanks for having me Claire, I hope you’re having a wonderful trip!
Winter Brown Rice Salad
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
3/4 cup brown rice
1 stock cube
2/3 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ bunch of broccolini (or broccoli), cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbspn rice bran oil
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 tspn minced garlic
1 cup cooked chickpeas
A handful of slivered almonds
½ bunch of spring onion (about 4), roots removed and roughly chopped (include the green stems)
1 large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
½ cup baby spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped
1 pomegranate, seeds removed (see video)
40g of feta cheese, crumbled or cut into small cubes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon
Heat the oven to 180 degree centigrade.
Rinse rice under running water and then prepare according to packet directions, using stock instead of water.
Toss cauliflower and broccolini in 1 tbspn of rice bran oil, minced garlic and cumin seeds.
Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or so – until browned and a little crispy around the edges. Stir every now and then.
When the cauliflower has started to brown and soften add the almonds and chickpeas to the pan and stir well.
Cook for another 5 minutes or so (until the almonds have browned slightly).
Remove the tray from the oven and add the cooked brown rice and stir well to combine.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine really well.
Season with a little salt and lots of cracked black pepper.