Jamie Oliver Project: Rice Salad

I had never heard of rice salad until I discovered it in Jamie’s Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals by Jamie Oliver (May 19 2009)” (Affiliate link) It’s now a favorite recipe of mine. If I had to describe this in one word, I would say “fresh”. It’s a terrific dish to take to potluck because it can be served at room temperature. I prefer to make it in summer when I have fresh herbs available from my herb garden.

I could not find wild rice for the batch that I prepared in the picture below so I used white. Feel free to play around with the type of rice and vegetable ingredients. If you don’t like bell pepper, you could substitute tomato.

Rice Salad

1 and 1/4 cups long grain and wild rice
A few sprigs each of basil, mint and Italian parsley
8 oz roasted red bell peppers (from a jar or deli)
1/2 fresh red chili pepper
1/4 cup lemon dressing (recipe below)
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Cook rice according to package directions. Drain, if necessary and spread the rice out on to a tray to help it cool quickly. Pick the herbs off the stalks then finely chop. Chop the bell peppers and chili pepper. When your rice has cooled, combine rice, herbs, peppers and the lemon dressing in a large bowl. Zest the lemon over the salad, add salt and pepper then mix to combine. Taste, then adjust as necessary with salt and pepper.

Lemon Jam Jar Dressing

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Put olive oil into a jam jar (or other small container) with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Put the lid on the jar and shake to mix. Refrigerate unused dressing.

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Jamie Oliver Project: Baked Carrots in a Bag

Over two years ago, I started trying to cook my way through Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook. I have made a LOT of the recipes but I’m nowhere near even halfway through, I’ll admit. One reason that it’s taking me so long is that I like so many of the recipes that I’ve tried so much that I keep repeating them instead of trying new ones. At first I was hesitant to blog the recipes because I don’t want to take business away from Jamie’s book. However, the recipes are already out on the web and I figure some other cook might benefit from reading my notes.  That being said, I highly encourage anyone interested to buy the Food Revolution cookbook. In my opinion, it’s one of the best ever.

I made this recipe for Christmas dinner this year to accompany my beef roast. It’s simple and delicious. I appreciate that Jamie Oliver wants people to eat their vegetables but is smart enough to realize that sometimes they need a little “enhancement”.

Baked Carrots in a Bag

1 3/4 pounds of carrots

1 slice of bacon

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 clove of garlic

Zest of half an orange; save orange for juice

1 tsp marmalade (I used orange)

2 Tbsp butter

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Peel carrots. Leave whole if small; otherwise chop them up.

Take a sheet of aluminum foil about 2 feet long, fold it in half to make a crease and then open it out again. Pile the carrots in the middle of the foil on one side of the crease.

Finely slice the piece of bacon and the chop the rosemary leaves (I omitted the rosemary since it was not in season).  Finely slice or mince the garlic (I use a garlic press). Scatter the bacon, rosemary and garlic over the carrots. Grate the orange zest over the top and add the marmalade and butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Fold the other half of the aluminum foil over the carrots and scrunch and seal the two sides of the foil bag together leaving one end open. Halve the orange and squeeze all the juice into the bag. Seal up the final side.

Place the aluminum foil bag on a baking sheet and bake for around 50 minutes. To serve, CAREFULLY open the bag and pour the carrots and the juice inside in a big serving dish.