Baked Basmati w Mint, Pomegranate, Walnut, Olive & Halloumi
Baked rice is a flippin' revelation! As someone who’s gone without a rice cooker for most of their life, any set-and-forget rice cooking method, embarrassingly, makes me quite content. This method feels far more decadent however than a rice cooker. You can infuse the rice with fat and flavours that gently release their oils, while enjoying an ever so slightly charred nuttiness at completion. This rice has had ample TLC, yet simultaneously oozes simplicity. It is a tray-bake after all.
*This recipe showcases Hello Friend's Haloumi - however any quality vegan halloumi (or regular halloumi) can be used in it's place.
- 1 large handful raw walnuts
- 1/2 a pomegranate, arils only
- 1 jar (230g) mixed olives, drained & finely chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- drizzle maple syrup
- small handful parsley, chopped
- small handful mint, chopped
- drizzle garlic oil (or 1 garlic clove, crushed/chopped)
- salt & pepper
- 2 cups uncooked basmati rice
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- pinch of salt
- 3 1/2 cups water
- a few sprigs of mint
- Vegan halloumi (I used one pack of Hello Friend's Haloumi, although another high quality vegan halloumi (or regular halloumi) can also be used)
- Preheat your oven to 180C (360F).
- Pop your walnuts into a small oven-safe dish and toast in the preheated oven for 5 minutes (or until golden). Set aside to cool. Mix all of the Relish ingredients together in a small bowl and add the walnuts when they're not scorching hot. Set aside or refrigerate (your call) until needed.
- Add the basmati to a large baking dish. Cut the vegan butter into small chunks and disperse throughout the rice. Add a generous pinch of salt and pour in the water. Add the mint sprigs to the dish, cover with a lid or tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Chop the vegan halloumi into wedges. Take the lid/foil off of the rice and turn the oven over to a 'grill x fan' setting (if applicable). Arrange the cheese on top of the rice and return to the oven for 15 minutes to golden.
- Spoon the Relish over the dish before serving.