The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Roasted Zucchini Rice with Pomegranate Sauce

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Level: Easy

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Description

Roasted basmati, zucchini, eggplant, basil, tomatoes topped with pecan nuts. The most delicious vegetable rice with pomegranate sauce you’ve ever eaten!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE POMEGRANATE SAUCE
  • ½  Pomegranate
  • ½  Orange, Juice And Zest
  • 50 milliliters Vegan Vegetable Stock
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup, Or More To Taste
  • ½ teaspoons Potato Starch (optional)
  • Cinnamon, To Taste
  • FOR THE RICE:
  • 1  Aubergine (eggplant)
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1  Onion, Diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, Grated
  • 1  Zucchini, Grated On A Coarse Grater
  • 5  Small Tomatoes, Quartered
  • ½  Lemon Zest
  • 100 grams Pecan Nuts
  • Fresh Basil, To Serve

Preparation

For the sauce, remove the seeds from the pomegranate, reserving some for garnish later. Add remaining pomegranate seeds and orange juice to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer. Add vegetable stock and continue to simmer until pomegranate seeds become soft and glassy. Meanwhile, add salt and pepper. After 10 minutes, add the maple syrup.

For the rice, scrape the inside out of the eggplant with a spoon and chop it finely. You can rub the eggplant with olive oil, and let it bake in the oven while you are cooking and fill it later with the rice.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a second saucepan and roast the rice in it, until about 2/3 of the grains are nicely browned and start to get a nice popcorny smell. Add a pinch of salt and the water until rice is covered by about 1 inch. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for another 5–10 minutes until rice has absorbed the liquid. Depending on the stove, the time this takes can vary. If the rice is still too firm after that, pour in a little more water and stir Do not cover the rice with water! Just add a little bit and continue to simmer for 3–4 minutes.

When the liquid is gone a second time, remove pan from the hot plate, fold a clean towel and cover the rice with it. Then press the lid firmly on top and let the rice steam for another 10 minutes. After that, it tastes perfect!

While rice is still simmering, sauté onions and garlic with remaining olive oil in a high-sided coated pan. Sauté until lightly browned. Add vegetables and continue sautéing until cooked. Season with salt and pepper while cooking.

When rice is almost ready and vegetables are still sautéeing, take a look at the pomegranate sauce. When seeds have become soft, remove saucepan from stove, blend sauce in a tall vessel for about 1 minute, then pour it back through a sieve into the saucepan and gently brush the pulp through the sieve so that the sauce will be free of any bits of seed.

Now the sauce should simmer for another 5 minutes over medium heat. If you like it a little thicker, sift in potato starch while stirring. Season with salt, pepper, additional maple syrup if needed, cinnamon and orange zest.

Mix the vegetables with the rice. Make sure that the rice to vegetable ratio is about 2:3. Season again with salt, pepper and lemon zest.

Serve on a plate with reserved pomegranate seeds, pecan nuts and basil and season with the sauce to taste.

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