Recipe of the Week: Persian Rice Salad by Joey O’Hare
For Joey O’Hare, promoting gut health through delicious veggie-centric food is the name of the game. Far from a passing trend, Joey believes that gut-friendly foods – whether it’s kimchi or saurkraut, activiated nuts or live kefir – are the future. Having run a series of successful pop-ups, Joey launched High Mood Food in Marylebone last year.
To celebrate the launch of her new café in Old Spitalfields Market, which opens its doors this June, Joey has shared a very special salad recipe.
British cherries at this time of year are absolutely delectable, so sweet and juicy, they’re hands down my favourite fruit! I’m working them into all manner of savoury dishes and salads as well as sweet ones. This salad has fast become a summer favourite – it’s sweet and tangy, thanks to the cherries and pomegranate molasses, crunchy and refreshing thanks to the cucumber and fresh herbs, and wholesome and satiating thanks to the wholegrain rice. Naturally at High Mood Food we include a little of our classic Kraut as well, for that savoury tang and beneficial live bacteria for good gut health!
This salad benefits from being dressed in advance – this makes it a little tastier as the rice will absorb more of the dressing, and any juices that will seep from the cherries.
This recipe serves 4 people.
Time: 20 mins
75g wholegrain rice (1/2 cup)
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 handful classic Kraut
200g cherries, halved and de-stoned
2 baby cucumber (or 1 regular)
14g mint (or a generous handful)
14g dill (or a generous handful)
14g flat leaf parsley (or a generous handful)
4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
8 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon of sumac
50g pine nuts, toasted
Cover the rice with cold water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 18-22 minutes, until cooked.
Drain the rice through a sieve or colander and rinse with a little cold water. Allow the steam to billow off as much as possible, to avoid a heavy salad.
While the rice is cooling combine the sliced onion, halved and de-stoned cherries, sumac, pomegranate molasses and olive oil in a bowl. Add a generous amount of sea salt and mix well.
Chop the cucumber into thing rounds; (if you are using a regular cucumber perhaps remove it’s watery core).
Finely chop the herbs.
In a large mixing bowl combine the rice, cucumber, Kraut, herbs, toasted pine nuts, and the cherry & onion medley along with all the juice and dressing. Toss gently and the transfer into a serving dish.
Garnish with a few extra herbs, and some za’atar, and finally squeeze over the juice of half a lemon to brighten that first mouthful.
High Mood Food opens in The Kitchens, Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6EW on Friday 15th June. Visit www.highmoodfood.com and follow them on Instagram @highmoodfood.