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Wild Rice with Roasted Vegetables and Leek Tomato Sauce

March 13, 2011

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Last weekend we discovered Berkeley Bowl, a giant grocery store in Berkeley, CA.  The Produce section is immense with vegetables from all over the world – you can find banana blossoms, raw turmeric root, guavas and many, many more wonderful fruits and vegetables. They also have a huge bulk foods sections featuring zillions of varieties of flours, granola, grains and spices.  We browsed for a couple of hours, amazed by the variety.  I got some California Wild rice, black spanish radishes, green papaya, multi-colored carrots, guavas and some other vegetables.  I was really excited about cooking the multi-colored carots, black spanish radish and the wild rice, both of which I’ve never cooked with before.  As I discovered, wild rice is packed with protein, complex carbohydrates and vitamin E, B, and other minerals. It takes about an hour to cook, and while its cooking the rest of the meal can be put together. The black spanish radish has a smooth black skin, and is white inside.  Its got a slight bite to it, like the daikon radish.  Dinner yesterday was Wild rice cooked with sun dried tomatoes, and yellow mung lentils served with Goda masala spiced roasted carrots, black spanish radish and butternut squash and a leek tomato sauce with fennel and nigella.

What You Need

For the Wild Rice

  1. 1 Cup Wild Rice
  2. 1/2 Cup of yellow mung lentils
  3. 1 Tblspoon chopped sundried tomatos
  4. 1/2 tsp dried basil
  5. 1 Tblsp of Olive Oil
  6. 1 Clove Garlic
  7. 4 Cups of water
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Roasted Vegetables

  1. 1 Black Spanish Radish
  2. 4 multi-colored carrots
  3. 1/4 Butternut squash
  4. 1 1/2 Tblsp Olive Oil
  5. 2 tsp Goda masala (a maharashtrian spice blend)
  6. Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Leek Tomato Sauce

  1. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  2. 1 tsp nigella seeds
  3. 1 Clove of garlic
  4. 1 tsp olive oil
  5. 1 Leek
  6. 3 Tomatoes
  7. 1/2 Serrano pepper
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste
  9. 1/2 Cup of Water

How its Done

  1. Start with the Wild Rice.  Heat a saucepan and add oil. When hot, add minced garlic and cook for a minute, add the wild rice and coat each grain with oil and toast for a couple of minutes.  Add the water, the sundried tomatoes, crushed basil salt and pepper.  Let come to a boil. Now add the mung lentils and let cook covered for 45 minutes, till the rice is cooked (the rice will be out of the black shell and it is easily mashable when squeezed by your fingers). If there is any excess water, drain it off.
  2. For the roasted vegetables, cube the vegetables, with all pieces about the same size. Toss with the olive oil, goda masala, salt and pepper to taste and let marinate while the oven preheats to 400 degrees F in the roast mode.  When hot, roast vegetables for 30 minutes, stirring one during the cooking process so the vegetables are evenly roasted.
  3. Two down, one to go. Dice the leeks and tomatoes. In a sauce pan, heat the oil and add the fennel seeds and nigella seeds.  When they become fragrant, add the leeks and saute till soft. Add minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes before add the tomatoes, and a pinch of salt. Let cook till the tomatoes become mushy.  Add the serrano peppers, slit into four, and the water and let cook through.  Add salt and pepper.  Blend to a smooth consistency using a hand blender.

Verdict: AWESOME! Love the nutty taste of the wild rice…the roasted vegetables burst with flavor from the goda masala, which enhances the sweetness of the carrots and butternut squash, and mellows the radish.  The fennel and nigella seed in the tomato sauce bring the whole dish together really well!

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