When I first made this recipe, I made it with white rice but I discovered on one occasion on finding the rice jar empty, that brown rice works as well if not better. If you are feeding someone who is gluten intolerant – this works as a fantastic alternative. Follow the rest of the recipe exactly the same.
½ head lettuce, shredded
2 red peppers , deseeded and chopped into large cubes
½ cucumber, deseeded, grated and all the water squeezed out
¾ cup rice
1 ½ cup boiling water
1 cup mushrooms, chopped into very small cubes ( approximately ¾ punnet)
1 green pepper, chopped into small cubes
½ cup of spring onions, finely diced
½ cup toasted flaked almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
¾ cup low fat cottage cheese
Seeds of 1 large pomengranate
1 cup of parmesan shavings
Salt and black pepper for seasoning
½ tsp mixed dried herbs
½ tsp minced garlic
3 tbs French Dressing ( made with 5 tbs olive oil, 2 tbs honey, 3 tbs raspberry or apple cider vinegar, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp salt and 3 tbs water – shake this all up in a jar and it’s done!)
Heat 2 tbs oil in a small frying pan, until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic, spring onions, green peppers and the mushroom, stir frying lightly until slightly softened.
Tip in the rice and combine all the ingredients together gently. Now add the boiling water, cover and lower the heat, cooking the rice for at least 25 -30 minutes.
Take your peppers, season with salt and black pepper and place in a very hot oven to roast for 15 minutes.
In the meantime prepare the salad base of the dish. Gently combine the lettuce and the cucumber and flavour with the French dressing.Place this all in the base of your wide salad dish.
Check your rice, it should be tender and cooked. Gently remove from the pan, season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the cottage cheese and the mixed herbs.
When you are ready to serve, pack the rice into a small bowl, cup or ramekin and invert into the middle of the salad plate.
Remove the peppers from the oven that will be softened and slightly charred. Scatter these over the salad base.
To finish, scatter over the pomegranate seeds, the toasted sunflower seeds, the flaked almonds and the parmesan shavings.
Serve with a crisp glass of your favourite Rose for that summer fresh finale!