Black Rice, Mango & Purslane Salad

2016/03/11 deej 0

I’ve mentioned before about the little supper club that I’ve formed with some friends. This is an idea that combines some of my favourite things – good food, spending time with my friends (and indulging in interesting discussions), and cooking. As Gallifrey starts producing more edibles, I expect that out contributions to these dinners will include more of our own produce.

We had our second dinner party last weekend, and K and I volunteered to make an entrée. I happened to have some black glutinous rice in the cupboard, and a couple’ve mangos in the fridge, and I was feeling creative – so I invented a recipe. It received many approving and appreciative comments, so I thought I’d share it more widely.

As a side note, the choice of purslane was a happy coincidence. We have a lot of it growing feral in the back yard and amongst the pot plants, and had no salad greens in the fridge, so I experimented. If you haven’t tried purslane, you really should – it’s mild flavoured and tasty, as well as being very healthy, high in omega-3 oils and vitamins. You can eat it fresh as a salad green or cooked, and it literally grows as a weed in Perth. Only eat purslane that you’ve plucked from your own garden or somewhere you know it hasn’t been sprayed – roadside and public park growing  purslane is often laced with herbicides intended to control it and other weeds.

(I’ll add a picture here next time I make it)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup glutinous (short grain) black rice
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh mango
  • 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes (golden cherry tomatoes by preference)
  • 1/2 cup fresh purslane, roughly chopped or torn apart
  • approx. 1/2 cup cashew nuts *
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs raspberry vinegar
  • approx. 1 tsp salt
  • pinch chilli powder

* For a nut free version, replace the cashew nuts with sunflower seeds or pepitas.

Method:

  1. Cook the rice as normal. Note that it will take slightly more water than regular white rice to cook using the absorption method.
  2. While the rice is still hot, stir in the vinegar, oil, salt, and chilli powder. Cover and allow the rice mixture to cool.
  3. Taste, and adjust the seasoning of the rice mixture with additional vinegar, salt, or chilli powder if desired.
  4. Stir the mango, purslane, and cherry tomatoes into the rice.
  5. Chill.
  6. Top with cashew nuts, and serve with smoked trout or smoked salmon.

 

This salad can be made up to a day in advance – add the nuts just before serving, so that they don’t go soggy. For some extra presentation points, add a little fresh mango on top as well, for the colour.

supper club

2015/08/04 deej 0

the aptly named 'Dinner', roastedI haven’t posted much about plants or animals recently, which is mostly because it’s winter and cold and nothing much is growing. And most of my attention is on the house-building project.

The chickens are moulting, and so laying fairly sporadically. The quail are still laying, although one of them got sick and we had to euthanise her. We ate her afterwards because (a) I feel that eating the carcase shows respect tot he animal, and not eating it is wasteful and disrespectful, and (b) the illness was a beak disorder, so there was no health risk to us. We also killed and roasted one of mum’s chickens, which had stopped laying. She was a little tough, but very tasty.

The garden is green and happy, and the citrus are fruiting massively, but that’s about it. The olives I put up in autumn are fermenting away (the quick processed ones are ready for eating, and we’ve eaten some of them). We made some calamondin and raspberry jam (which is delicious) and also a calamondin and blackberry variant (also delicious). And there’s been more use of limes and lime juice in our cooking (I made lime jelly on the weekend, to top a lime and blueberry cheesecake), and a certain amount of grapefruit juice consumed.

Which brings me to my point, actually. It’s winter; it’s cold and wet, and when the weather is cold and wet the eye turns to food. Pies and puddings and jam and cocktail syrups (we have a lot of citrus, and I don’t really care for marmalade) and overly fancy dishes inspired by watching Masterchef.

things I want to try making: passionfruit sphere and coconut granita with pineapple

Normally I don’t watch TV. I have so many things in my life that any time I have spare I either read a book or watch something without adverts in it (hello internet! Have I mentioned how much I love you?), or put some time into one of my hobbies, or play with my cats. But there was a lazy dinner evening of buying fish & chips, and in the fish & chips shop there was a TV playing an episode of Masterchef, and then we had to watch the rest of the episode later for closure, and then we were hooked. Also, the show (and most of the recipes used on it) are available free online from channel ten.

things I want to try making: liquid butternut gnocchiPartly as a result of the show, I’ve started a little supper club. A group of us have agreed that we’ll have shared multi-course dinner parties every couple’ve months – we’ll do a degustation style meal with lots of smallish courses and each member of the club will make one of the courses for each dinner. We’ll rotate who does which course so we all have a chance to do appetisers and mains and desserts and everything in between. The idea is to make fancy dinner parties a bit more affordable to hold, and more fun because the effort is shared, and also to put some time aside to catch up with people more often and maintain those social networks which are so essential to us. I’m really looking forward to the first dinner party (scheduled for October, after we’re completely moved into the new house). (Which, by the way, is almost finished! It’s on site, the electrics are connected, verandahs are being built this week, and it looks amazing.)