Jeweled Brown Rice with Orange Zest and Mint

As much as I love brown rice, I realize it’s not the most exciting grain around. With a reputation for being (arguably) boring, this dish transforms brown rice into something far more exotic. With hints of orange and mint, bursts of pomegranate and cranberries and a clever use of saffron brewed tea bleaching brown rice into sunshine yellow, this recipe has the potential to turn even the biggest brown rice skeptics into brown rice lovers. By simply pre preparing all the ingredients and arranging them into a neat assembly line, this dish can be as easy as it is delicious. Tried and tested on a party of ten, it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser xx

Jeweled Brown Rice with Orange Zest and Mint
Adapted from Whole Living Daily with Sarah Britton
serves 6-8

Ingredients
2 cups brown rice, rinsed
Pinch saffron
2 shallots diced
2 medium carrots grated
Zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 bay leaves
6 dates pitted and chopped
1 handful cranberries
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 handful mint leaves roughly chopped
1 handful chives chopped
1 small pomegranate seeded
handful almonds lightly toasted and halved
Juice of half a lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve

Directions
In a small glass add 4 tablespoons boiling water and a pinch of saffron and allow to brew into a tea. Leave to stand

In a medium size fry pan, heat coconut oil. Add cumin then turmeric, bay leaves and cinnamon. Stir until fragrant then add shallots, carrots, orange rind, chopped dates and cranberries. Cook for 5 minutes or until shallots have softened. Then set aside.

Cook brown rice as per pack. Add the saffron tea and the salt and bring rice to the boil. Reduce to simmer for approx 30 minutes or until water has evaporated and rice has coked.

Once rice is cooked, allow to cool on a sheet of baking paper. Transfer to a large serving dish, add the carrot and dried fruit mixture, lemon juice and mix together well. Add the chopped herbs and half the pomegranate seeds and mix through. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with toasted almonds and the remainder of the pomegranate seeds and serve with lemon wedges.