Roasted garlic, spinach and coriander rice with feta and cashews

13 Mar

It is the season of escapism

I have always relished having, ‘hiding places’, especially in the warmer weather.

Roasted garlic, spinach and coriander rice with feta and cashews


As a child I would wander up and down the garden path, at the back of the garden and which was tucked away by arches of oversize rose bushes bearing pink, white and yellow roses.  Along the path grew spring onions on one side and strawberries on the other. There was other stuff, but I that’s what I remember. I would shuffle past the ivy on the back wall and pleat myself between long strands of grass, blackberries and more grass so that I stand on a discarded on a discarded flower pot and swing around on it, with my thoughts for company.

As a teenager I was part of a cosily demonstrative and animated crowd of friends.  We were together always, sometimes creating and sharing belly-laughs, occasionally sharing dramatic tears and sentiments with declarations of love. Vivacious, ambitious, boisterous and revelling in it… most of the time. Sometimes I would take a walk past the university which was down the road, through to the small, immaculately kept yet unfrequented park and just sit. My mind echoed with the shrill laughter, the ‘baaabe’ coos and the multiple hugs. My eyes rested on the wafting flowers in their tidy beds or over to elderly couples, sitting peacefully and easily in each other’s company.

I really loved the offices where I worked for almost a decade. I felt proud of the six buildings that stood tall in a semi-circle splendidly. We even had a few flags in the front near the fountains and I would always listen to the echo of my little feet as I would enter the light-flushed reception with the subliminal brand-tune playing in the background. High ceilings revealed the three floors and their balconies where important and discreet conversations happened. I would pick up my porridge from the restaurant, a green tea from the Starbucks and prepare for the deluge. When it got too much and I needed to breathe in order to later demonstrate professional calm, I would grab my phone and speed along on my heels past the smokers, through the car-park and over to the far side of the building where there was a quiet fountain. It was in a very pointless position.

Happy spring my friends. The grass will smell nicer, the flowers bloom and I hope that your smiles will too.

Roasted garlic, spinach and coriander rice with feta and cashews

On the subject of green, meet my rice. It’s bright with spinach and coriander and sweet with roasted garlic. Roasted garlic and salt are perfect together and the feta hits the spot perfectly. I served this rice with a roasted pepper and tomato chutney and some corn flour tortilla. It was utterly fabulous.

green rice 3



200g basmati rice

2 tbsp. cooking oil

150g spinach leaves, washed

100g coriander, washed and coarsely chopped

One bulb of garlic

One onion, half sliced and the other half diced

100g feta cheese, cut into bite sized cubes

A handful of cashew nuts

¾ tsp. fennel seeds

One lemon, half for the juice and half for slices


  1. Rest the bulb of garlic, in all its skin and layers, on a sheet of baking paper. Remove the head off the garlic to expose the bubs and then drizzle the garlic with a splash of oil and some salt and roast it in the oven at 200 degrees until for approximately 30minutes.
  2. Boil the rice for approximately 8 minutes before draining and cooling it.
  3. In a food processor (you could finely chop by hand), blitz the spinach and coriander until it is finely chopped.
  4. Heat the oil on a non-stick pan and then add the fennel seeds and onion with some salt. Remember that the feta cheese is salty, so go easy. Sauté the onions enough to lightly brown them
  5. Mix in the spinach and coriander and sauté gently for a minute before adding the garlic.  You simply squeeze the base of the bulb and they will pop out. Add half the head of garlic and lightly mash them in. don’t worry about the lumps. Taste the rice, if it feels garlicky enough then stop, if not add more.
  6. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, sprinkle in the cashew nuts and mix well before turning the heat off.
  7. Mix in the rice, gently folding the green mixture through, cover and cook for a couple of minutes on a very low flame.

19 Responses to “Roasted garlic, spinach and coriander rice with feta and cashews”

  1. Selma's Table March 13, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Wow – this looks delicious Deena! And I can just imagine you making a bee-line for that fountain – not pointless at all!

    • Deena Kakaya March 13, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      Thank you Selma! Oh, I thought you’d be able to imagine my bee-line 😉 x

  2. Joanne March 13, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    We are getting another crazy cold day here today…but the bright green of this rice is enough to make me happy!!

    • Deena Kakaya March 13, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      Thanks Joanne, sounds like the garlic will help in fighting off any weather related bugs too 😉 xx

  3. Katie @ Whole Nourishment March 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    LOVE the flavors you’ve put together in this rice! I’m always adding cashews to curries and rice dishes, too. 😉

    • Deena Kakaya March 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

      Oh you do it too Katie? I thought about using pistachio for this dish but went with cashews instead x

  4. themuffinmyth March 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    I love these flavours together! I almost always add a squeeze of lemon to a spinach dish, and I imagine that the salty feta and sweet cashews would tie it together in such a lovely way.

  5. matchamochimoo March 14, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Cashews make a good flavour in the dish, I also add into my soup as well, really nice, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya March 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      Thank you so much, I add cashews to curries too x

  6. annelifaiers March 15, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Your rice looks delicious, lovely colour and great texture with the cashew nuts in there. I think I might just have to make this one very soon!

    • Deena Kakaya March 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      Hi Anneli, it’s lovely to hear from you. This one smells as good as it tastes xx

  7. mjskit March 17, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    What a healthy and tasty rice! Love all of that garlic!!!!

  8. 13 Spices March 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    This recipe is fantatic. I have always been a fan of specialty rice dishes, scented, fried, and this one is jumping off the page. I can’t wait to try this. beautiful recipe.

    • Deena Kakaya March 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Thank you so much, it is so fragrant and makes a great packed lunch. I hope that you will enjoy it x

  9. deelightfullyveg March 18, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Will surely try this…

  10. Emily @amummytoo March 28, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    This looks absolutely mouthwatering!

    • Deena Kakaya March 28, 2014 at 10:24 am #

      Thank you! Smells as good as it tastes 😉 x


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