Yotam Ottolenghi's Baked Mint Rice with Olive and Pomegranate Salsa
Cooking rice perfectly is one of those things that shouldn’t be complicated but can be surprisingly difficult, for some, to get right. Baking it in the oven, on the other hand, as I do here, is a completely foolproof method (and one that worked, incidentally, when feeding 700 people over two sittings at Wilderness festival in 2017!). This is such a great side to all sorts of dishes: roasted root vegetables, slowcooked lamb or pork. To get ahead, the salsa can be made a few hours in advance and kept in the fridge.
|50g||unsalted butter, melted|
|50g||mint (40g left on the sprigs; leaves shredded for the remaining 10g, to use in the salsa)|
|150g||feta, crumbled into 1-2cm pieces|
|salt and black pepper|
|For the salsa:|
|40g||pitted green olives, thinly sliced|
|seeds from 1 small pomegranate (90g)|
|50g||walnut halves, lightly roasted and roughly broken|
|3 tbsp||olive oil|
|1 tbsp||pomegranate molasses|
|1||small garlic clove, crushed|
1. Preheat the oven to 230°C fan, or as high as your oven will go.
2. Place the rice in a high-sided ovenproof dish, measuring 20 x 30cm. Season with ¾ teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper, then pour over the butter and boiling water. Top with the sprigs of mint and cover the dish tightly with tin foil so that the rice is well sealed. Bake for 25 minutes, until the rice is light and fl uffy and all the liquid has been absorbed.
3. Meanwhile, place all the ingredients for the salsa, minus the 10g shredded mint, in a medium bowl with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Mix well and set aside.
4. Take the rice out of the oven, and remove and discard the foil. Pull the leaves off the mint sprigs – the stalks can be discarded – then place these back on the rice and sprinkle with the feta. Just before serving, stir the shredded mint into the salsa and spoon evenly over the rice. Serve hot.