Cardamon Rice with Oven Roasted Autumn Fruit
The recipe is written for figs and plums but experiment with other fruit - peaches, apricots and even nice juicy pears work well.
- 1 pint fresh figs, halved stem to bottom
- 1 1/2 pounds plums, such a Italian Prune, halved and pitted
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Several sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 pods cardamon
- 1 1/2 cups mixed red, brown and black rice (we used Lundberg Jubilee Rice mix)
- 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Harissa, for serving
- Tahini sauce, for serving
Heat oven to 400. Arrange fruit, cut side up, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Strew fruit with fresh thyme, reserving a sprig or two for rice. Set in oven and immediately reduce heat to 250. Roast until fruit is very soft and juicy and starting to caramelize, about 2 hours. Remove fruit. Alternatively turn off oven after 1 hour of roasting and leave fruit in oven overnight. This will produce a more fruit leathery result. Either way is good. All depends on your timing and oven needs.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add onion and cook, gently, until onion melts to a caramel brown. Stir to prevent scorching, a little burn is fine - it adds a nice edge to a sweetish dish. Add cardamon pods and rice, and toast both gently. Add 3 cups cold water, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until water has evaporated, about 20 minutes (depending on type of rice used). Remove cardamon pods (or warn guests of their existence). Divide rice between serving bowls. Top with roasted fruit and toasted nuts. Serve with harissa and tahini sauce if desired. Sesame is a wonderful source of calcium - girl's night.