My favourite standby dishes come and go quite quickly. I guess this is due to mainly what is in season, in the fridge and how bothered I am to make an effort. Fatigue can set in early once I arrive home from work and find a glass of wine in my hand. This is recipe is easy, trust me.
I try to think of ways to add pickled red onion to everything at the moment. I pretty much love pickled anything, full stop. I can’t stand harsh raw onion in salads especially the continued after taste. Once you lightly pickle them they become softer, sweeter and brighter. It’s my substitute for a dressing, it’s like my winter vinaigrette.
You could easily make substitutions for the other ingredients. Sweet potato instead of pumpkin, pearl barley would work well instead of the red rice and of course there are many substitutes for the cavolo nero. Mix it up with strong winter greens, like kale, or swiss chard. The haloumi is kind of a must for me although a persian feta could also do the trick I guess.
Roast Pumpkin, Red Rice, Cavalo Nero and Haloumi
3 wedges of pumpkin ( not a dry pumpkin, I like jap or butternut) leave the skin on, you can eat it.
125g of haloumi, sliced
4-5 leaves of cavolo nero or kale, washed stalks removed and roughly chopped
35g Thai red rice
60mls red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 small red onion
Set oven to 175°C. Stand the pumpkin up in a shallow tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven for 45 minutes. The cooking time will depend on how thick you cut the wedges.
Combine the red wine vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Warm on a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add onion. Leave to cool. You will only need a small amount of this. Keep remainder in the fridge for a week to use on other salads.
Place the rice in a small saucepan just covered with cold water (about an inch above usually suffices). Bring to the boil and reduce to a low simmer, covered for 12-15 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
When the pumpkin is nearly ready, grill the haloumi in a dry pan on med-high heat until golden brown. When you have turned the haloumi over add the cavolo nero to the other half of the pan to wilt.
Remove pumpkin from the oven and place in serving dish. Spoon over red rice, then the cavolo nero, a small amount of the pickled onion and the haloumi.
Serves one hungry person.