Broccoli, Coconut and Wild Rice Pilaf (Serves 6-8)
3 tblsps coconut oil
1 tsp each, ground ginger, cinnamon and coriander
2 small onions, peeled and sliced finely, lengthways
125g mixed wild rice
125g black venus rice (* see note opposite)
400ml can coconut milk
150ml vegetable stock, plus extra for the white rice
1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely sliced
1 orange or yellow pepper, de-seeded and finely sliced
225g ‘easy-cook’ white long grain rice
60g whole almonds, toasted
20g raw coconut chips, toasted
1 x 350g head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
1 red chilli, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
fresh coriander, chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large, deep skillet or frying pan. Gently fry the spices for a minute, then add the sliced onions and continue frying until they are soft but not browned. Stir in the wild and black rice followed by the coconut milk and 150ml stock. Season with a little black pepper then cover and cook very gently for 25 - 35 minutes, or until the rice has cooked.
In the meantime, heat the remaining coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the sliced pepper until they are just beginning to brown. Set aside. Toast the almonds (*see below) and coconut (carefully, just a minute or two as it will easily burn) and set aside.
Cook the white rice in plenty of vegetable stock (or boiling water) until it is just cooked. Drain well, rinse with hot water then mix into the black rice mixture. Season with salt and pepper, as needed and return to a low heat.
Steam the broccoli until just cooked, then gently stir the broccoli, peppers and almonds into the rice mixture. Serve in warmed bowls and top with strips of chilli, toasted coconut and fresh coriander.
Parmesan and Rosemary Coins (Makes approx. 70 biscuits)
100g butter, softened
100g plain flour
50g strong cheddar, finely grated
20g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tsps finely chopped fresh rosemary
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture almost comes together into a dough. Tip into a bowl and using your fingertips gently bring it all together into a smooth ball, kneading lightly.
Cut the mixture into quarters and roll each quarter in to a sausage shape approx. 3cm in diameter. Wrap each roll in cling film and chill for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
Heat the oven to 180ºC / Gas 4. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Cut the dough into discs twice the thickness of a one pound coin and arrange on the baking tray, leaving about 1.5cm between discs.
Bake for 13-14 minutes or until light brown and crisp. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling tray. Store in an airtight container.
Toasted Almonds make a excellent accompaniment to drinks or just a tasty (healthy) snack at any time. To simply toast them, spread them on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven (200ºC / Gas 6) for 8 minutes, shaking the tray well halfway through cooking.
Pomegranate and Rose Fizz
Mix together 500ml pomegranate juice, 100ml elderflower cordial and 1-2 teaspoons of rosewater. When ready to serve, pour a little of the mix (about 50ml) into champagne flutes and dilute with sparkling mineral water. To make an alcoholic fizz, use less of the pomegranate mix and dilute with champagne or prosecco to taste. Serve immediately. *The strength of rosewater can vary, so start by adding 1 tsp and add more if necessary. The taste should be subtle.