We would normally expect to see a flood of home grown purple sprouting broccoli in April, but many of the plants failed to recover from the big freeze and so far we’ve only seen a trickle. This week’s broccoli is from Spain, along with the celery, and the lettuce is from France. The leeks are local, as are the Jerusalem artichokes and the kale shoots in the UK produce boxes. In the larger boxes look out for a clove of fresh Egyptian garlic. This week’s potatoes are ‘Cosmos’.
Basmati Rice with Carrots and Saffron
This is a comforting, buttery rice dish. A pinch of saffron lends it an exotic ‘Persian’ flavour, and it goes well with something crisp and spicy like falafels ...
300g white basmati rice,
1 generous ‘pinch’ of saffron,
1 onion sliced,
200g carrots sliced and cut into matchsticks,
2 teaspoons honey,
50g blanched almonds lightly toasted and chopped,
Soak the saffron in the milk.
Rinse the rice and boil in salted water for about 10 minutes, drain, and stir in the saffron infused milk.
The rice grains should have softened a little but still be undercooked.
Fry the onion and carrot in half the butter for 10 minutes or until the carrot is just tender.
Stir in the honey and season well with salt.
Melt the remaining butter in a casserole dish, add half the rice, then the vegetables and the chopped almonds, then the rest of the rice.
Cover and place over a very low heat, or in the oven, until the rice grains are fully cooked (about another 10 or 15 minutes should do it).
The small Clementiney oranges in the fruit boxes are Spanish ‘Ortaniques’; an orange/mandarin hybrid originally form Jamaica. The name sounds quite elegant until you learn that it’s a combination of ‘orange’, ‘tangerine’ and ‘unique’. Tasty though!