Baked mint rice with pomegranate and olive salsa
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 50g butter, melted
- 800ml boiling water
- 40g mint left on the sprigs
- 150g feta, roughly crumbled
- salt and pepper
- 40g pitted green olives, sliced
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate
- 3 tablespoon currants
- 50g walnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
- 20g mint leaves, torn
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Preheat oven to maximum temperature (230-240 degrees C).
- Place rice in a high-sided ovenproof dish with a lid (approx. 20 x 30cm or 30cm round).
- Season with salt, pepper and sprigs of mint, then pour the melted butter and boiling water over it.
- Close the lid then bake for 25 minutes until the rice is light and fluffy and all the liquid has been absorbed.
- While the rice is cooking, place all the salsa ingredients except the fresh mint and the walnuts in a bowl. Season with salt then mix and set aside.
- Roast or pan fry the walnuts by placing them in a baking dish in the oven or a frying pan on the stove on medium heat until they start to lightly brown, then turn them over to cook the other side. Once both sides have been browned, set them aside to cool.
- When the rice has finished cooking, remove the lid or foil and pull the mint leaves from stalks. Discard the stalks, and return the leaves to the rice, then sprinkle the rice with the crumbled feta.
- Just before serving, stir the walnuts and the fresh, torn mint leaves into the salsa and spoon it over the rice.
- If your ovenproof dish doesn't have a lid, cover it tightly with foil instead
- The salsa can be made a few hours ahead of time and refrigerated till needed if desired - just be sure to add the fresh mint leaves at the end
- This dish works best as an accompaniment to other dishes and pairs perfectly with fish, chicken or red meat, roasted Mediterranean style vegetables, or flatbread and baba ganoush - get creative!