When we make salads in our home, we often do what we call a Family Salad. It basically means that we serve all kind of salad ingredients in separate bowls on the table. And then everyone in the family can prepare the salad after their personal liking. We try to keep it varied, with vegetables (warm and cold), greens, fruit, nuts and some kind of protein (quinoa, millet, lentils, beans or rice) and a dressing. Elsa usually chooses less dressing and leafy greens and more vegetables, fruit and lentils. David always add extra nuts and fruit to his. And I, well, I of course mix everything perfectly. Even if we don’t have any special food aversions, this is a way for us to keep dinners uncomplicated. It’s also great because it requires no recipe, just throw all fridge leftovers in different bowls and mix for yourself.
This pilaf actually started out as a family salad, but all the different ingredients on that specific day tasted so good together that we had to make it into a recipe.
Small baked aubergine cubes that are bursting with chili, turmeric and cumin. Sweet apricots, salty pistachios, kale, avocado, mint and chewy black rice and lentils. It all makes a pretty awesome and flavorful combination.
Black Rice, Kale & Aubergine Pilaf
We have cooked black rice and green lentils together to save time and simplify the recipe. The lentils will become all black, but it only makes them look cooler. You could combine red rice and red lentils or whole grain rice and quinoa instead.
Black Rice & Lentil Mix
1 cup / 250 ml black rice (preferable soaked)
1 cup / 250 ml green or brown lentils (preferable soaked)
4 cups / 1 liter water
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp cardamom seeds (without pods)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground chili
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
4 tbsp lemon juice + 1 tsp for massaging the kale
4 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil + 1 tsp for massaging the kale
1 large aubergine/eggplant, cut into small cubes
2 large stems kale, stems removed and finely chopped
1 avocado, stone removed and cubed
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
1 small handful raw pistachio nuts, coarsely chopepd
5 unsulphured dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup / 125 ml yogurt, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
Rinse and drain rice and lentils. Then place in a saucepan, add water, salt and cardamom seeds, cover with a lid and bring to boil. Lower the heat and cook gently for about 30 minutes or until tender and all the water has been absorbed. Meanwhile, stir together cumin, chili, turmeric, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Place the cubed aubergine and the spice mixture in an oven-proofed dish and toss to cover. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until soft on the inside and slightly browned on the outside. Set both the black rice and lentil mix and the baked aubergine a side to cool. Now prepare the salad ingredients. Place the chopped kale in a medium serving bowl, add lemon juice and olive oil and massage the kale for a couple of minutes until soften. Add all ingredients and toss to combine. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.