I'm so unbelievably over winter. I can't go on. I just can't. Usually, I love it, but I've become a human slug, unable to get out of bed before 3:24 pm.
I'm not cooking. I'm not doing anything fun. I'm going to class and then hibernating. The days I do manage to tear myself from my cocoon, I've been catching the scent of spring in the air. It's subtle and fleeting, but I know it's there.
This salad reminds me of better days and gives me hope that I will, at some point in the near future, escape from this grey, rainy black hole that is the London winter.
Rice Salad with Nuts, Sour Cherries, and Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup wild rice
1 1/4 cups basmati rice
6 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup quinoa
7 tablespoons almonds, skins on, toasted and coarsely chopped
7 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 yellow onions, diced
1 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
2/3 cups basil leafs, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped
2 cups arugula
2/3 cup sour cherries
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Sea salt and black pepper
Plain yogurt, for serving
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin, pepper flakes, and salt. Toss to coat. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until fragrant and blistered at the edges.
Place the wild rice in a saucepan, cover with water, salt the water, bring to a boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 35 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside to dry.
Mix the basmati rice with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place in a saucepan with 1 1/3 cups boiling water, cover, and cook on lowest heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, place a towel over the pan, replace lid, and set aside for 10 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool completely.
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and add quinoa. Cook for 9 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Heat the walnut oil in a large pan and add onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Cook over high heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring often, so some parts of the onion crisp and brown.
Place all grains in a large bowl along with chopped herbs, arugula, fried onion, nuts and sour cherries. Add lemon juice, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with roasted cauliflower and yogurt.