Pilaf rice and tomato,spring onion, feta and mint salad

2011-12-02 12:59

Christmas dinner can be a daunting prospect, but if you are hosting the main event this year, this foolproof, easy selection of recipes will save you from dishing up the same old fare.

Pilaf rice


» 2 cups Basmati rice (you can use ordinary rice if you don’t have Basmati)

» 2 dessert spoons of ground cumin

» 1 dessert spoon of brown mustard seeds

» 1kg frozen peas

» ¼ cup olive oil

» 3 teaspoons salt

» 1 teaspoon pepper


Use a heavy-based pot to fry the mustard seeds and cumin in the olive oil until they start to pop.

Add the rice and stir continuously. Add peas, salt and pepper.

Cook for a further 2 minutes, then add 6 cups of boiling water and mix well.

When the pot starts to boil vigorously, cover and reduce heat to the lowest option for 30 minutes.

Turn the heat off and leave covered for a further 20 minutes.

Fluff with a fork.

If too wet, leave uncovered for a further 20 minutes.

If too dry, add ½ cup boiling water and put back on a low heat for 3 minutes.

Leave covered for a further 15 minutes.

Tip: The rice will triple in size, so make sure you use a big pot.

Tomato, spring onion, feta and mint salad


» 1kg ripe tomatoes, cut into eighths

» 1 bunch spring onions, cut into small rounds

» 500g Danish feta, crumbled

» 1 cup densely packed mint leaves

» ½ cup olive oil

» 2 medium lemons, juiced

» Pepper to taste (don’t use salt because the cheese is already salty)


Cut tomato into eighths and put in a large bowl. Chop mint roughly and add to bowl. Add spring onion rounds. Crumble the feta over the salad, pour on the olive oil and lemon juice, and season with pepper.

Tip: The chef recommends an extra ½ cup of olive oil to make it really delicious. If you are in Joburg, buy your Danish feta at Meze on Barry Hertzog Avenue as it costs half the price available at most other outlets.

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