The one thing thriving in my garden right now is calendula, which is in riotous full bloom. I’ve read in a few places that the petals can be used to color rice, so I decided to try it out for myself. I sauteed some green garlic and fresh minced ginger in oil along with the rice for a few minutes, then added the water and petals from four spent flowers. I was very pleased with the flavor, but less impressed by the muted, muddled slight golden tint it gave the rice. Perhaps the effect is more dramatic and remarkable when using white rice or quinoa, or perhaps I needed a higher concentration of calendula. It certainly didn’t hurt, especially since one of calendula’s reputed benefits is easing digestion. But if you don’t have calendula on hand, never fear, this rice is just as delicious without it!
Great with roasted broccoli and tofu sauteed with a few splashes tamari and balsamic vinegar. One of my very favorite ways to season tofu or tempeh, I’m surprised I haven’t mentioned it before now: simply marinate tofu or tempeh for a few minutes in equal parts tamari and balsamic vinegar, then throw them in a fry pan with some hot oil until browned and lightly crispy. Yum!
Calendula Rice with Green Garlic & Ginger
A few tablespoons oil
1-2 stems green garlic, thinly sliced (or a clove or two of garlic, minced)
About a tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 cups water
A few handfuls calendula petals (optional)
A splash of tamari or salt, to taste (optional)
In the bottom of a large saucepan, sauté garlic and ginger in oil for a few minutes until tender and fragrant. Add rice and cook a few minutes more, then add water, calendula, and tamari or salt if desired. Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about an hour, until water is fully absorbed. Fluff and serve.