I love the simple beauty of a bowl of brown rice. Best just warm from the stove, each tender grain is nutty, separate and slightly chewy. The challenge in cooking such a pot of rice is easily underestimated; mainly, one must have patience. We invited friends over Sunday night and enjoyed some short grain brown rice topped with kale, pomegranate arils, toasted Nori, edamame, avocado, black sesame seeds, and a citrus dressing. The recipe is from Anna Jones’s cookbook A Modern Way to Eat. The meal comes together with relatively little effort, though quality ingredients give the rather homey dish some kick and elegance. The kale is sauteed in just a bit of toasted sesame oil. The gem-like arils and tiny black sesame seeds look striking against the light brown rice. Creamy slices of ripe avocado, kale, and chewy edamame also enliven the dish with their varying shades of green as well as with their varying textures. The dressing is the true star of this meal, though. Jones calls for the zest of half an orange, a lemon, as well as their juices and that of a pomegranate. All is whisked together with a bit of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey (or agave). The resulting sweet and tangy sauce highlights all of the flavors of the sushi bowl.
Also, I’m still hooked on Quinoa. I roasted a sweet mini pumpkin yesterday for lunch, and tossed it together with a fresh batch of Quinoa, toasted chopped almonds and coconut, cilantro, and dressed it all with some Moroccan spices whisked into a bit of walnut oil and vinegar. Will thought to add a bit of raisins, and even later I thought to add a splash of orange blossom water, and it all came together deliciously. I reserved a bit of plain Quinoa for leftovers, which I’m happy I did because today for lunch I cooked up a batch of Heidi Swanson’s little Quinoa patties, recipe for which can be found in her cookbook Super Natural Everyday. If Piper’s eating habits are any indication of how truly great a recipe is, then I’ll tell you now that she ate several of these morsels, slathered in avocado and even plain. The recipe makes a lot, and yet we have none left to snack on later. Whisk four eggs together and stir in some leftover Quinoa (the recipe calls for about 2 1/2 cups worth) with various aromatics such as finely chopped garlic, onion, green onions or chives, cheese (we just used Nutritional Yeast), and whatever else is handy, really. I added a small amount of chopped jalapeno, even. About a cup or so of breadcrumbs binds everything together, though go easy for moister cakes. They cook in about 14 minutes over medium low heat, 7 minutes on each side (or until brown).
Last, and certainly not least, we’ve been enjoying our fair share of sweets. Perhaps too much. I made a batch of raw brownies the other day, also from Anna Jones’s cookbook, which calls for an almost exorbitant amount of dates and cacao. In its defense, the recipe does make 20 little square servings (gone in 2 days, gasp!). I have also been enjoying little bowls and, I’ll admit, secret spoonfuls of Ciao Bella’s blood orange sorbetto. The super smooth texture and tart flavor had me cooing to Will about how much better it is than ice cream.
Happy eats! Wren.