RED RICE AND CHICKEN SALAD
Serves 4 to 6
250ml red rice*
zest and juice of 2 lemons
60ml olive oil
5ml Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
500ml rotisserie chicken, shredded
50g almonds, toasted and chopped
1 medium cucumber, deseeded and cut into diagonal pieces
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
baby gem lettuce, for serving
Boil the rice in plenty of salted water until just cooked, about 30 minutes. Rinse briefly, then drain.
Pour the dressing over the warm rice.
DRESSING: Whisk together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, honey and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine the chicken, almonds, cucumber, spring onions, feta and pomegranate rubies with the rice. Mix well.
Arrange lettuce on a serving platter and top with the rice. Sprinkle with extra pomegranate rubies.
* Red rice is an unhulled rice – the husk gives it its red colour – with a nutty flavour and high nutritional value. It is available at Pick n Pay. Brown rice is a good substitute for red rice.
COCONUT AND BANANA RICE PUDDING
400ml tin of coconut milk
250ml jasmine rice
100ml castor sugar
2 to 4 bananas, sliced and covered with lime juice
50g flaked almonds, toasted
Put the coconut milk and milk into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then add in the rice and salt.
Reduce heat and simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until milk is absorbed and mixture is thick and creamy, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in sugar and butter. Add the bananas, reserving a few for decoration.
Spoon into serving dishes and top with slices of banana and toasted almonds.
MUSHROOM AND RICOTTA RISOTTO
60ml olive oil plus 30ml extra
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g exotic mushrooms, sliced
200g button mushrooms, halved
4 baby brinjal, cut into 1cm rounds
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 onion, finely chopped
375ml Arborio rice
125ml white wine
125ml sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
125ml grated Parmesan
125g fresh ricotta, crumbled
60ml finely shredded fresh basil leaves
Heat 30ml oil and all the butter in a frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry until tender. Remove and set aside.
Add 30ml oil to the pan and fry the brinjal slices until golden. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
Place stock in a saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until needed.
Heat the extra 30ml olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and fry until softened.
Add rice and stir until well coated, about two minutes. Add the wine and boil until the wine has been absorbed, about a minute.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and 250ml of the heated stock. Cook, stirring, until the stock has been absorbed.
Repeat with the remaining stock, adding 250ml at a time, until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender and creamy.
Stir in the mushrooms and brinjals. Add the Parmesan, ricotta and basil and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.
NACHOS RICE SALAD
Serves 6 to 8
250ml brown rice
30ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
10ml chilli powder
5ml dried oregano
10ml ground cumin
410g tin of sweetcorn kernels, drained
4 large tomatoes, diced
400g tin of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 red onion, finely chopped
125ml chopped coriander
250ml grated mature cheddar cheese
2 avocados, diced and combined with 30ml lime juice
1 packet of corn nachos
sour cream, for serving
1 jar of ready-made salsa, for serving
Cook the rice in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. Set aside in a large bowl.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic, spices and salt and fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the sweetcorn and half the diced tomatoes. Fry for a few minutes.
Remove and add to the rice.
Add the remaining fresh tomatoes, kidney beans, red onion, coriander, cheese and avocados to the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Layer the corn nachos on a serving plate. Pile rice salad on the nachos.
Dollop with a spoonful of sour cream and salsa.
CHICKEN AND PEA PILAF
5ml chopped garlic
15ml finely grated ginger
1 long green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
10ml ground coriander
5ml cumin seeds
375ml brown basmati rice
500g chicken, cooked and shredded
800ml chicken stock
250ml frozen peas
60ml chopped coriander
60ml chopped mint
125ml toasted flaked almonds
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry until onion softens.
Add the spices and salt and fry until fragrant.
Add the rice and chicken and stir to combine.
Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
Stir in the peas and heat for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs and half the flaked almonds.
Use a fork to fluff the rice. Serve garnished with extra toasted flaked almonds.
Angela Day, The Star
Pictures: Matthews Baloyi, Independent Newspapers