Protective colour therapy
These rolls are therapeutic in many ways, and actually making them is one – as long as you take your time and savour the process. They are a perfect excuse for some mindful food preparation, using beautiful ingredients, which come together into an exciting blend of flavours, textures and colours.
The benefits of a high plant diet in preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease are well accepted and their colourful pigments play a big part in this. Each one revealing a different antioxidant property. Asparagus in particular is a seasonal wonder, said to be packed with cancer fighting compounds.
Nori is one of the most nutrient rich varieties of edible seaweed. It’s a great addition to any diet, and especially a vegetarian or vegan one, for two reasons. It’s amazingly high in protein (30-50%) and also notable for its iodine content, supporting healthy thyroid function. Wild garlic is especially effective in reducing high blood pressure – perfect for ‘Make May Purple for stroke’!
6 Nori sheets
6 fine asparagus spears
3 small spring onions
6 medium Cos lettuce leaves
2 tsp olive oil
Medium handful of hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
1/2 cup black rice, soaked for 30 mins
Handful of garlic leaves (or use chopped garlic)
1 small beetroot, grated
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp black sesame seeds
Tamari sauce for dipping
- In a saucepan, cover the black rice with twice the volume of water, bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for around 30 minutes, until soft and chewy
- Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat 1 tsp of olive oil
- Beat the eggs in a bowl, add a handful of chopped wild garlic and pour into the pan to make a thin omelette.
- Squeeze the lime juice into a bowl and mix in a couple of finely chopped wild garlic leaves. Add the grated beetroot and mix in well (this could be prepared a day or two in advance and left in the fridge in a closed container to pickle).
- Once the omelette is cooked on both sides, leave aside to cool, and cut into strips
- Brush the asparagus with a tsp of olive oil and place under the grill for 5 minutes, turning a couple of times until slightly crisp.
- Slice the spring onions in two lengthways.
- Halve the avocado and cut into slices lengthways.
- Lay out the nori sheets and about 3 cm in lengthways, align the ingredients: asparagus spear, omelette strip, spring onion, avocado and lettuce leaf, 1 large tbsp. black rice, scatter with hazelnuts and a couple of pinches of beetroot pickle.
- Roll gently and as tightly as possible. Seal by dipping your finger in water and running along the edge to make it stick.
- Using a sharp knife, slice each roll into 6 parts.
- Pack the individual rolls together on two plates and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
- Serve with chopsticks and a small bowl of tamari sauce.