Saffron rice, mojo verde and spring greens – a veg box recipe by Antonina Parker
We love chef and cookbook writer Nina Parker’s relaxed, colourful cooking style and are delighted to share this recipe she created.
Nina said: “This meal came together after receiving a veg box delivery from Daylesford that was brimming with fresh, seasonal organic vegetables.
I had to think of a recipe on the spot and this dish is great because once you have nailed the rice you can pair it whatever is in season and what you have to hand. It’s so versatile!”
Daylesford’s online shop recently launched a new range of fresh fruit and vegetables, including organic VEG BOXES that vary each week in line with the seasons. Th e online shop also stocks other fresh food items as well as larder staples and homeware items, and fresh cheese, meat and bread. Orders made through the online shop can be delivered to any mainland UK address.
If you live locally to Daylesford locations in London or the Cotswolds, you can also use the Daylesford Delivered service to get farmshop staff to do your shopping for you and get it sent to your door. Choose anything from the farmshop shelves – from fresh fruit and vegetables to organic cheese, fresh meat & fish, artisan bread & pastries and award-winning real meals.
For the rice:
- 400g white basmati rice, rinsed in cold water x3 and drained
- 1.5 white onions, sliced lengthways into 1cm circles
- 6 tbsp olive oil / sunflower oil
- 2-3 pinches of saffron
- 1 tsp sugar
- Black pepper
For the mojo verde:
- 160g fresh coriander
- 1/2 tsp honey / sugar / maple syrup
- Zest and juice of a lemon
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp finely diced garlic (roughly 2 cloves)
- 1 tsp coriander seeds (freshly ground in a pestle and mortar)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (freshly ground in a pestle and mortar)
- 3.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
Blanched seasonal veg:
For the rice, add the saffron to a little bowl and pour over with 50ml boiling water leaving to infuse for 5 minutes.
Rinse rice 3 times in cold water and drain. This is very important as this will avoid it sticking together. You’ll need a large saucepan with a lid. Add rice to the saucepan and cover with water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil and then simmer for 9-10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Using the same large saucepan set to a medium heat and add 6 tablespoons of olive oil to warm up. Then lay the onion pieces at the bottom of the pan, season generously with salt, pepper and the teaspoon of sugar. Fry onions for 3-4 minutes and then start spooning in the rice. Prod the rice down into the gaps so that it is touching the bottom of the pan. Then once you have a layer on the bottom, spoon the rest into the centre of the saucepan creating a dome-like shape. Get the end of a wooden spoon and dig about five scattered holes into the rice. Place a tea towel on a surface and the lid on top. Fold the tea towel over the lid and then place the lid on top of the rice, this will help steam it properly. Leave on a medium to high heat for 20 minutes. You can turn the heat down a little for the last 5 minutes. Then use a knife to go round the edge of the rice in case any of it has become stuck. Spoon out the top part of the rice and use a spatula to scrape off the caramelised onions and rice. Serve this on top to look pretty!
While the rice cooks you can prep the vegetables. Simply trim your chosen seasonal vegetables, bring a pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the vegetables briefly until they are tender with just a little bite. Drain and arrange on a platter.
For the mojo verde, add the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste to check for seasoning and serve with some thinly sliced spring onions on top.