Definition: To cook and add flavour over burning embers. Traditionally smoking happens to over burning wood and fish is the most common thing to smoke, however, read on and we’ll teach you how to smoke your veg over rice at home.

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  • ½ mug of rice
  • Veg
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Citrus

Over to you… Tell us about your smoking adventures. Post on Twitter, Facebook using #schoolofveg or email us

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1. Why? It’s a really quick way to cook veg and it adds tremendous flavour.
2. What? Root veg and tubers are the stars here: beetroot, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, swede, Jerusalem artichokes, and potatoes. Mushrooms are also fab smoked, as are onions, shallots and leeks.
3. How? Place a double layer of foil in a heavy based, lidded pan with plenty over hanging the edges. Tip the ½ mug of rice (any kind) on top of the foil along with a large handful of herbs, a few strips of citrus peel and/or 1-2 tbsp spices and/or black tea. Add 1 tbsp water then place a single layer of veg on top. Bring all the edges of the foil together and seal tightly, leaving no gaps. Place a lid on top. Turn on the heat. After 3 mins you should see smoke escaping. Leave to smoke for a further 10 mins. Take off the heat and let the veg continue to cook in the residual heat for 5-10 mins. Carefully open the package. Discard the rice and aromatics.
4. Then? Strip the skin or outer layer off. Brush or rinse off any rice that’s sticking to the veg. Then thinly slice, mash, puree, or dice and add to your favourite dishes. If the veg isn’t cooked through as much as you’d like, finish it off in a frying pan or in the oven.
5. Flavour matches… Beetroot is brilliant when smoked over rice mixed with the zest of 1 orange, 2-3 bay leaves & 1 tbsp cloves. Thinly slice and toss into a puy lentil salad with toasted seeds.
6. Parsnips are utterly gorgeous when smoked over the leaves from 2 black tea bags & a seedless vanilla pod. Mash with a little milk and butter.
7. Jerusalem artichokes are amazing when smoked over rice with two broken cinnamon sticks & a large handful of thyme. Peel, thinly slice and toss into a salad.
8. Celeriac is worth celebrating when smoked over rice with a handful of rosemary & the zest of 1 lemon. Peel, cut into matchsticks and mix with crème fraiche or mayo and herbs for a smoky twist to remoulade. Shallots are stunning when smoked over rice with bouquet garnish & 4 crushed star anise. Strip off the papery skins, halve and finish cooking them in a frying pan with a squeeze of orange juice till sticky and tender.
9. Leeks are phenomenal smoked over foraged twigs of oak. Strip off the outer layer and serve with a dusting of finely grated parmesan and lemon zest, and a twist of black pepper.
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Tried this with some parsnips, rice and black tea. Unfortunately, the smoke stank out my flat for the next three days, the parsnips were so hard to mash I had to call them 'smashed' instead, and the smoking didn't actually change the flavour of the mash, because I had to peel the parsnips.