Here is a recipe for any of you lovely folk out there who, like me, love a big, lemon infused Middle Eastern dish! Warm tahini yoghurt is something everyone needs if they are despairing about the fact that the vests have been donned, and the sandals shoved right to the back of the cupboard for the next far off Summer! Add a little parsley and pomegranate we are winning!
PAIRING A WARMING TEA WITH YOUR FOOD:
Being a permanently cold person, my least favourite season is Autumn. I am looking at these leaves turning beautiful golden brown and thinking ‘just stop that’! It means a long stretch of coldness is ahead! Like all of us, I work really hard and when I get tired, I feel the cold deep in my bones. The lights in the old brain go out a bit and I can get a bit wound up. My saviour at these times, and indeed at all challenging times in life, is tea (and Nick). Tea is a grounder. It warms, it comforts, it centres. It balances. A cold, irritable body is instantly soothed. A cryer is comforted and a mind is calmed- and when you have knowledge of the vast range of teas out there, you can select a tea for any mood, food, situation or circumstance. In these situations, I just wish I could jump out of my computer screen into your home and brew you up a little nectar like infusion. I wish I could show you all how amazing tea can be – I am talking more than the usual stuff on any supermarket shelf. The tea world is so much bigger and more exciting than that! So much more powerful and it can do a lot for the mind as well as the body.
I have a little mini teapot cup from JING – they call it their a JING Tea Master – love it!
We drink tea with our food a lot. There are so many varieties and flavours out there that you can pair it with a dish as you would wine. Its a bit like having a miso soup with a Japanese meal. A little shot of something really hot on the side. I always find it helps me to be more mindful of my eating when a tea or miso soup is involved. You can’t gulp down boiling hot liquid in the way that you could gulp down a sandwich with a scoosh of water at the end. Tea should be enjoyed slowly and it buys you time to take a breath. So here is a recipe that I like to enjoy with hot, comforting tea. Filled with pomegranate, zaatar and tahini, the recipe is bursting with all flavours Eastern. As a result, I like to pair it with a really soft black tea with a rose tone – Keemun and Whole Rose. This tea comes from a wonderful, wonderful company called JING Tea. The company that my little tea fanatic fiancé happens to work for.
JING have kindly offered all CLOVE food co readers a lovely 15% off any online orders with the code clovefoodco15. I really recommend checking out their website. Some of my favourite teas are:
Iron Buddah Oolong Tea – this is probably my favourite tea of all time. Rich, and malty.
Dragonwell - the brightest, freshest green tea you will ever try.
Jasmine Silver Needle – you may have tried jasmine pearls before. This is a more delicate and delicious version of that.
Lemon Verbena – one of my favourite herbal infusions for a big dose of calm.
Keemun and Whole Rose – the tea I would recommend having with this recipe!
- 125g brown rice
- 425g aubergine, cut into 3cm cubes
- 100ml olive oil
- 3 tbsp zaatar
- Generous pinch of salt
- 40g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
- 1tbsp pomegranate seed
- 1tsp pomegranate molasses
- 15g parsley, roughly chopped
- 250g yoghurt
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp tahini paste
- Zest of ½ a lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C
- Start by chopping the aubergines and putting them onto a baking tray lined with parchment. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, zaatar and salt until you get a loose paste. Rub the paste over the aubergines so that they are evenly covered and put into the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes until the aubergines are soft and the edges are starting to turn golden brown.
- Meanwhile, if you are choosing to have brown rice with the dish, put this on to boil as per packet instructions. Usually brown rice takes between 25-45 minutes to cook, depending on the variety.
- Prepare the warm tahini yoghurt by whisking all of the ingredients together in a pan. Do not heat it until just before you are ready to serve the dish.
- Next, put the flaked almonds onto a baking tray and into the oven to lightly toast – this should take about 5 minutes.
- Remove the aubergines from the oven and while still in the baking tray, sprinkle over most, but not all, of the toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, pomegranate molasses and parsley and toss everything together.
- Strain the rice and set aside while you gently warm the tahini yoghurt. Just place it over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until it has just warmed through.
- Assemble by dividing the rice between two bowls. Top with the aubergine and then drizzle over a generous helping of the tahini yoghurt. Sprinkle the remaining toasted almonds, pomegranate and parsley and enjoy!