Roasted Kalettes with Lemon & Thyme Rice and Candied Garlic.
· 150g basmati rice
· Vegetable stock or chicken stock
· 1 lemon
· A few sprigs of thyme
· 8-12 cloves of garlic
· 2 tbsp of sugar, preferably brown, but white is OK too.
· Olive oil
· 1 stalk of kalettes (regular kale would work fine)
· 200g of chickpeas, drained (from a jar, or tin)
· Butter, olive oil or vegan butter
This recipe is adapted from a dish in 'Rice', by Michael W. Twitty.
If the lemon you have is waxed, add it to a bowl of hot water for 15-30minutes before using to remove the wax. If unwaxed, miss out this step.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C
· For the candied garlic: slice of the base of each garlic clove. Crush the cloves with the back of a knife, the papery skin should come off easily. Break the peel garlic into halves (for larger cloves) or leave whole- just make sure they are all crushed slightly.
· Add 300g of vegetable stock to a small saucepan with the sugar and ¼ tsp of salt. Bring to the boil and dissolve the sugar. Add the garlic cloves and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The garlic will soften, and the stock should become thicker and more syrupy. Remove the heat and keep for later.
· While the rice is cooking, heat a little bit of olive oil in a small frying pan. Remove the garlic cloves from the syrupy stock (using a slotted spoon or fork) and fry in the olive oil on both sides until just golden (but not too dark). The garlic will be sweet, chewy and have a mild garlic flavour.
· For the kalettes: remove the leaves from the stalk and wash them well. Break any larger pieces up with your hands. Add to a bowl and 2tsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage in the oil and salt to make sure the leaves are evenly coated. Add to a baking tray and roast for around 8-10minutes until slightly crispy.
· Add the chickpeas to the tray and bake them for 2 minutes to warm through.
· For the rice, wash the basmati in a sieve and drain. Zest the lemon with a peeler (to make strips of zest) then squeeze out the juice. Weigh out the juice of the lemon and make up to 290g with vegetable stock (or 290ml if you don’t have scales).
· Add the stock/lemon to a decent heavy bottomed saucepan (about 18cm diameter). Add the thyme sprigs and bring to the boil. Add the rinsed rice. With a lid on, simmer for about 8-12 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed (a glass lid helps here! The time will depend on the heat and the brand of rice used).
· About halfway through, stir the rice to make sure it isn’t sticking and add the lemon zest.
· When the liquid has absorbed, remove the rice from the heat. If the rice still feels chalky or ‘al dente’, add a little more water or stock and cook until it’s just soft (but not mushy) before moving onto the next step.
· Once cooked, removed from the heat. Place a clean tea towel over the pan and cover with the lid to absorb excess moisture while it steams in its residual heat. This should ‘fluff’ up the rice.
· Once the rice is steamed, add a few knobs of butter (about 1 tbsp) or a drizzle of olive oil and mix in.
· Remove the lemon zest and thyme sprigs before serving.
Serve the lemon rice with the roasted kalettes and chickpeas and top with the fried, candied garlic.