This post is sponsored by Dainty Rice.
Life has been a whirlwind over here these past few weeks. I know I’m supposed to be the one offering you advice for how to stay balanced and healthy, but the truth is I haven’t been any of these lately. There has been a lot more take-out and ordering in than actual cooking. Work has taken up the biggest part of my days, nights and weekends with the launch of our online shop. But it’s finally out there now, and we’ve got such a great response so far. I’m exhausted but my heart is full.
One of the few things I did manage to cook this past week was this rice pilaf. Pilaf is something I don’t make often enough, as I typically use my rice cooker (I love that it does all the work for me!). But since I was partnering with Dainty Rice for today’s post, I knew I had to make an effort and put the rice cooker aside. Dainty is a Canadian company (it was founded right here in Montreal) and they’re celebrating their 135 years in business (!), with a completely new branding and packaging.
I’m using their lovely basmati rice for this recipe, although their jasmine would be delicious too. The flavours going on here are some of my favourites: roasted cauliflower, garam masala, fresh parsley, currants, toasted almonds. Their rice is fragrant and so flavourful on its own, but it’s really shining here.
I can’t remember where I came across the idea of soaking currants in balsamic vinegar, but I’ve kept it at the back of my mind and knew it would be perfect in this recipe. The currants soak up all of the goodness from the vinegar and really make this dish stand out.
Naturally gluten-free, this pilaf can be enjoyed by anyone. It makes a great weeknight side dish or lunch, but it would be perfect on a holiday table too.
This post is sponsored by Dainty. Thank you for supporting The Green Life by supporting its partners. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Rice Pilaf with Garam Masala Roasted Cauliflower + Balsamic Currants
Serves 6 as a side dish
- 2 tbsp cooking oil (olive, grapeseed or avocado oil) divided
- 3 tsp garam masala divided
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
- ¼ cup dried currants
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup Dainty basmati rice
- 3/4 cup mince shallots or onion
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds (or pine nuts)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoons of oil, 2 teaspoons of garam masala, sea salt and black pepper. Place the cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet or in a baking dish pour the oil mixture over. Toss to coat.
Roast until the cauliflower is tender and browned, about 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
In the meantime, place the dried currants in a small bowl and add the balsamic vinegar. Let sit while you prepare the rice.
Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well under running water.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced shallot or onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the rinsed rice to the pan and stir to coat. Add the remaining teaspoon of garam masala and stir again. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, until the rice smells fragrant.
Add the water and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook, covered until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is tender, about 15-18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 5 minutes.
Remove the lid, add the roasted cauliflower, balsamic currants, chopped parsley and toasted almonds. Taste and add a bit more balsamic vinegar or sea salt if you'd like.
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