This cookbook demonstrates how versatile this cupboard essential can really be.
- 1lb 2oz Charlotte potatoes, sliced just under 1cm in thick
- 5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 aubergines (eggplants), sliced into 1cm rounds
- 14oz spinach, blanched in boiling water then squeezed out
- zest of 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve
- 3 large or 6 smaller tomatoes, sliced ¼ in thick
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- generous 1 ½ cups white short-grain rice, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
- 1 1⁄3 pints hot vegetable stock
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- handful mint leaves
- salt and black pepper
- tzatziki, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF / gas 6. Line two large trays with baking parchment. Toss the potatoes in a large bowl with 2 tbsp oil, 1 tsp cumin and some seasoning, then spread out on one of the trays. In the same bowl, toss the aubergines with 3 tbsp oil and some seasoning, then arrange on the other tray. Roast the vegetables for 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown and tender. In a bowl mix the spinach with seasoning and the lemon zest.
Line the base of a deep 23cm / 9in lidded pan with baking parchment. Grease the pan with oil. Lay the tomato slices over the base of the pan, then top with the roasted aubergines. Scatter over one-third of the garlic, followed by one-third of the drained rice. Top with the potatoes, then another one-third of garlic and one-third of rice. Arrange the spinach on top of the rice and scatter with the final one-third of garlic and the remaining rice.
Mix together the stock and spices, including the remaining 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp salt. Pour this over the rice and bring to a simmer, then lay a circle of parchment on top and weigh down with a saucer. Add the lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 35 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to steam for 20 minutes, then invert onto a plate. Scatter over the mint leaves and serve with tzatziki.
Recipe from Posh Rice, published by Quadrille Publishing. Photo: Alex Luck.