AdHoc Recipes: Half Waif ’s Favorite Dinner for Solitary Nights

Nandi Rose Plunkett of Half Waif shares a simple, comforting meal to get you through self-isolation.

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Here at AdHoc, we believe in building the world you want to see using the materials at your disposal—and it’s a philosophy that applies as much to the world of music as it does to food. In AdHoc Recipes, we ask artists we love to share a jumble of ingredients that tastes delicious and brings them back to a special time and place. This month, Nandi Rose Plunkett, the Western Massachusetts-born vocalist and multi-instrumentalist behind the heart-string-pulling synth-pop project Half Waif, teaches readers how to make her favorite comfort-food dinner, inspired by her love for Mediterranean flavors.

Half Waif’s new album The Caretaker is out now via Anti-Records.

Nandi Rose’s Every Night Rice Bowl

Nandi Rose Plunkett: When my husband’s home or we have friends over, I’ll try to impress with a fancy recipe, usually a vegetable korma or a curry of multiple spice dimensions. But when it’s just me, I can do my own thing and be unapologetically unimpressive, which usually leads to some version of this black rice bowl. This is what I make for myself all the time, but only when I’m alone. It’s not because I’m ashamed or because I think it’s bad—it’s just because it’s so simple, and the simple things in life are best appreciated in solitude.

I gravitate to Mediterranean flavors, and I’m somewhat obsessed with eggplant, so this is the perfect vehicle for all of my favorite things. It’s a big healthy bowl of comfort food that I don’t have to share with anyone else or worry that they might not love what I love. This one’s just for me. And now it’s for you too.

Ingredients

1 cup black rice

2 baby eggplants, diced

1 red pepper, cut into strips

Half a carton of cherry tomatoes

2 small cloves of garlic (whole, skin on)

1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts Zest of one lemon

Olive oil

1 tablespoon cumin

Table salt

Pepper

Flake salt for finishing

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 420°F.

2. Combine the black rice with 1 and 3/4 cup water, sprinkle in some salt, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, then remove from heat.

3. Arrange eggplant and red pepper on one baking tray, and cherry tomatoes and garlic on another. Use your hands or a spoon to coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. Put them in the oven.

4. When the veggies are browned and near falling apart and the tomatoes have released their juices, remove from the oven.

5. Put a scoop of rice in your favorite bowl. Top with a good variety of the roasted veggies (make sure to squeeze garlic out of the skin first), a handful of chopped mint, and toasted hazelnuts.

6. Finish with lemon zest, flake salt, and a drizzle of good olive oil. This recipe is meant for one person, but it’s two servings: dinner and leftovers for the next day.