Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Baked rice with aubergine, goats cheese and pomegranate - recipe

When we were staying in south west Turkey at the end of summer I had great pleasure in trying to cook some dishes that were more aligned to the country we were staying in, rather than cook the things we would normally eat at home.

We were staying in a house belonging to friends there, and on the book shelf was this recipe book by Silvena Rowe, she is quite renowned in the UK as a chef and she has Turkish roots, so I cooked a few recipes from this book. Pomegranates feature heavily in Turkish food they grow very easily there in late summer, the trees branches are heavy with the swollen juicy fruits. They produce and sell a lot of pomegranate molasses in Turkey too, its a lovely addition to a lot of dishes.

There were two pomegranate trees in the garden where we stayed, it was a joy to go out pick one from the tree, bring it indoors and bash it with a wooden stick to retrieve the juicy pips. Why does food always taste better when you get to pick it yourself?

Here is the recipe, the name of which escapes me but its easy to make and delicious, this one will taste fab whatever country you are in, and just now pomegranates are in season here and are readily available.

This beats picking the seeds out with a cocktail stick (or a pin as we did when I was young)...that was in the days before Nigella and Jamie taught us how to bash a halved pomegranate with the back of a wooden spoon. I'm also entering this for the one ingredient challenge for this month, hosted by Laura over at 'How to cook good food' and Franglais kitchen where the ingredient is pomegranate.

Ingredients:
1 aubergine
1 onion
1 clove garlic crushed
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
200g short grain rice (they tend to eat this in Turkey more than long grain)
200g local Turkish goats cheese (feta cheese is a good substitute for this)
salt and black pepper
1 pomegranate
Method:
1. Heat the oven to 180C fan.
2. Slice the aubergine and then slice across each slice to make a half moon. Fry these until golden in the olive oil then drain on kitchen paper. Add the onion and garlic to the olive oil and fry gently.
3. Add the rice and paprika and stir to coat in the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the cooked aubergine and the chicken stock and mix everything together.
5. Put in a heat proof dish into the oven for 15-8 minutes until the rice is soft.
6. When the rice is cooked and still hot, flake it up, check the seasoning and then crumble over the cheese and then scatter the pomegranate seeds on top.

11 comments:

  1. Wow Sue, this is certainly a dish I would eat at the drop of a hat. I like the tip about using short grain rice which I use sometimes for making sushi although I am sure any Japanese cooks would be disgusted at that!
    I am a Feta fanatic so this is also good news. In fact t all sounds gorgeous so thanks for sharing and entering into One Ingredient with your lovely recipe!
    xx

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  2. I have never mastered removing pomegranate seeds and was unaware of the bashing technique. Think I'd better buy my self a pomegranate so I can try it. Your dish looks colourful and flavoursome and I it must have been so much better with a pomegranate picked straight from the tree and some lovely warm sunshine.

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    1. Its easy, cut it in half turn it over a bowl and bash the skin (rounded side) with the back of a wooden spoon. :-))

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  3. I REALLY PREFER THE SHORT GRAIN RICE, IT'S THE ONE I'M USED TO, SO IT'LL BE NO TROUBLE. WHAT A GREAT RECIPE, I WILL TRY IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. REGARDS

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  4. Interesting about the short grain rice - it seems to be very underused (my only real use of short grain is in rice pudding!). I love the idea of baking the rice and I bet the aubergine is delicious in there - the soft melting-ness of aubergine is great.

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    1. Its a lovely dish, easy and tasty, like yourself I usually only use short grain rice for rice pud.

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  5. This looks lovely and how amazing being able to pick pomegranates off the tree! Enjoying your blog. Andrea

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  6. This looks like a gorgeous recipe and must taste amazing with pomegranates fresh from the tree. Would you recommend it as a main course on it's own or as an accompaniment?

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    1. When I made it we had it with some fresh baked fish, but would be nice as either more so if you don't eat meat/fish. Thanks for your comment. x

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Please leave a comment...if you have tried one of my recipes I'd love feedback, and thank you for taking time to pop by to read my blog.

Susan x