Every Wednesday, I receive my farm share of organic fruit and vegetables delivered to me from the Wairarapa Eco Farm. I mostly adore all of the seasonal fresh produce however, there always seems to be a surprise or two in the form of uncommon vegetables that require thinking. To be honest, I don’t always know what to do with these vegetables and often I let them sit quietly in the bottom of the veggie bin awaiting their fate to turn into liquid goo. But lately, I have decided that I need to work smarter in the kitchen to reduce food waste and so I have challenged myself to use everything in my farm delivery each week.
This week I had a plethora of baby micro carrots, colorful baby turnips, baby leeks, baby parsnips (and a leftover bit of cauliflower from the back of the fridge). Roasting vegetables, to me, is such a kiwi thing. I don’t think I ever had a roast vegetable salad in my life until I moved to Wellington. The roasting brings out the sweet caramel flavors and create such an earthy intense flavor. Whenever I can I like cooking with delicious anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, corriander and cumin not only because I love the flavors but because they are real medicine working to combat inflammation-related disease in my body. Combine these intense spices with fresh herbs and nutty brown rice (quinoa would work nicely too), a little tangy lemon vinaigrette and YES, this will make great lunches for a few days.
I will be sharing my new recipes with you all summer season and hopefully come up with some easy new ways to include all of the uncommon veggies that arrive on my door step. Hope you enjoy this flavorful rice salad!
- 3 Tb Olive oil
- 1 cup Organic Brown Rice (or cauliflower rice or quinoa)
- 6 cups of baby vegetables - this could be carrots, red onions, leeks, parsnips, turnips, cauliflower florets, fennel etc. Larger pieces cut in half lenghthwise.
- 1 cup fresh coriander leaves - chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves - chopped
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/2 fresh red chili sliced
- 1 tsp ground Turmeric
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp Kashmiri chili or cayenne (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt plus more for seasoning
- 1tsp Honey
- 1 Lemon - juiced
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 180 and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Prepare the baby vegetables by washing and slicing any that seem too large. Spread the veggies on the baking tray along with the fresh chili. Add spices and 1tb of oil and toss to coat the veggies with your hands. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer and place the tray in preheated oven. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until beginning to brown at edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool down.
- Meanwhile add 1 cup brown rice to a saucepan and rinse with several washes of water. Drain and add 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp sea salt to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and turn heat down very low. Stir, place a lid on and allow to simmer for 30-40 mins. After this time, remove pot from heat and leave the lid on for another 10 minutes. Next, take the lid off and allow rice to cool.
- Next, in a small bowl, make dressing combining 2 Tbl Olive oil, 1 tsp honey (or more to taste) and juice of one lemon. Wisk to combine with a fork.
- Assemble salad once everything has cooled down a bit. The ingredients do not need to be cold just not hot enough to wilt the fresh herbs. In a serving bowl, add cooked rice, roasted veg, fresh herbs, currants and pumpkin seeds and drizzle dressing over the top. Toss the salad together and add more fresh coriander leaves to the top.