I was up bright and early this morning excited by the sunshine streaming in the bedroom window. I had barely showered and dressed before it had already made a swift exit leaving slate grey in its wake. So in response to all the grey we’ve been experiencing lately I bring you a colourful rice salad. Bright orange carrots are mixed with fennel and roasted. Kale adds a bit of green. Lemon adds a splash of brightness to the taste. Feta and olives bring a touch of Mediterranean flavour and colour. You can really use whatever vegetables you like that are in season. I never get too hung up on measurements for salads like this. Just combine things as your instinct tells you.
Serves 2100g (4oz) brown rice rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large carrots peeled and chopped into small chunks
1 fennel bulb chopped into chunks and fronds removed
3 kale leaves chopped in to small pieces and stems removed (I used cavolo nero kale) Spinach would also work here if Kale isn’t in season.
¼ cup of unsweetened coconut chips
¼ cup of olives
Feta or goats cheese crumbled
For the dressing:
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 200°C 400°F. Cook the rice according the pack instructions or your preferred method. (I simmered mine for 35 minutes). Meanwhile put the olive oil in a roasting tin and add the carrots and fennel. Place in the oven and roast for twenty minutes. Remove from the oven and add the coconut chips. Combine everything together and continue roasting for another ten minutes then add the kale and roast for another five minutes until the vegetables are cooked, the kale is slightly wilted and the coconut chips are golden brown.
Combine the cooked rice with the roasted vegetables. I usually chuck mine in to the roasting pan and mix everything together but you could use a separate bowl. Serve topped with the olives and feta or goats cheese and a drizzle of dressing.
To make the dressing combine the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil in a jar and shake until well mixed. Serve immediately.