A summer favourite from Claire Thomson’s ” Home Cookery Year”. It is best served warm rather than piping hot. Serve with a green salad. You can use the same method and switch around the summer vegetables- baked cherry tomatoes, fried squash or blanched broad or green beans will all work well.
- 250 g short grain, risotto or paella rice
- 1 tsp salt plus more to season
- 4-5 tbsps olive oil
- 1 kg courgettes
- 2 onions peeled and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 lemon zested then cut into wedges
- 150 ml carton double cream
- 100 ml chicken or vegetable stock or water
- 120 g black olives pitted and roughly chopped
- 80 g parmesan grated
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 tsp chilli flakes optional
- salad leaves to serve dressed
- Put the rice in a saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Add 1 tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-12 minutes until cooked. Drain and spread the rice out to cool in a baking dish with 1 tbsp of the olive oil mixed through.
- Thinly slice the courgettes 2.5 mm thick using a sharp knife or mandoline. Heat 2 tbsps of the olive oil in a wide saucepan. Working in batches fry the sliced courgettes over a moderate heat until soft and coloured in places- about 2-3 minutes per batch. Drain each batch in a colander while you fry the remaining batches.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C, 160 Fan, Gas 4. While the courgettes are draining heat the remaining oil in the same pan over a moderate heat. Add the onions and fry for 10 minutes, then add the garlic and oregano and fry for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
- Add the drained courgettes back into the pan with the onions and mix well. Add the lemon zest and season well with salt and pepper. Add the courgette mixture to the rice in the baking dish, then add the cream, stock, olives and half the parmesan. Mix well.
- Put the baking dish in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes until the mixture is bubbling nicely and coloured at the edges. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving with the remaining Parmesan and chilli flakes ( if using) sprinkled on top.
- Serve the lemon wedges alongside with some dressed salad leaves.
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