New Zealand harvests great honey. I'm using it lot more as the sweet element in my cooking, using it in marinades, adding it to preserves and generally looking to it as an alternative to sugars.

It also has well-documented healing properties; it is used on burns and taken to combat various bugs. My throat and respiratory passages were relieved recently by taking a tablespoon of warm honey with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Honey producers were well represented at the Food Show. Some having a gourmet focus, others highlight the health benefits of their product.

1 Peel and cube 2 medium sized kumara. Place these in a roasting dish and drizzle over some J. Friend+ Co Manuka Honey and some olive oil. Roast in a medium oven till coloured and cooked. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.


2 Heat 4 tbspn of olive oil in a pot and gently cook off a finely chopped large onion, a medium sized carrot (diced), the zest of a lemon, a cup of blanched almonds (or a mix of nuts) and half a cup of raisins (previously soaked for 4 hours in cold water).

3 Add one and a half cups of brown rice (previously soaked in cold water for 4 hours). Stir all together, then add a pinch of saffron soaked in a tablespoon of hot water for 10 minutes, and three and a half cups of chicken/vegetable stock or water. Cover and cook for 45 mins on a very gentle heat without removing the lid.

4 Remove from the heat. Mix in the roast kumara chunks. Put the lid back on and allow the kumara to warm in the hot rice mix.

5 Turn into a bowl and gently press down to compact. Sit your serving dish over this and up end the bowl so the mounded rice sits on the plate.

Decorate with some chopped coriander and serve with plain yoghurt.

Producer notes

J Friend + Co: An award-winning artisan honey business with beautifully packaged products.