Courgette rice with feta & olives


This is the last day of July and I would love to end it with a recipe. Especially because I was a bit idle these days, I wasn’t in the mood of writing almost anything. But I will do my best now and put into English my last recipe that was in Romanian. Let me tell you a little about this recipe. As you are already accustomed now, there is a story behind the recipe. I was at my sister’s house and I wanted to impress her with my cooking skills. My sister is very conservative in cooking and she has her tastes, as we all do. I asked her if she had tried a risotto before. She said no. So then, I would make  one for her and her husband to taste and see for themselves how they liked it. I searched the Internet on one of my favorite sites, www.bcgoodfood.com and there I found one. It contained one of my favorite vegetables, courgettes or zucchini. Perfect, I said to myself. It didn’t have meat as well, so it was a very healthy and light dish for a hot summer day. I worked hard but in the end I failed to impress. My sister is just not into rice or anything not-meaty. In my humble opinion, it is a very delicious dish and I would make it anytime. But it is not for everybody. There are people who would hate it and there are people who would love it. So, there you go!😉 De gustibus non est disputandum. 

But in spite of that, for those who would like to try it, here is the recipe, adapted so that it can be made anywhere. I tell you why. In Romania, for example, courgettes are quite expensive and rare in the supermarkets so they can be replaced with another squash that you can find in large amounts everywhere in the summer time. And so on.

Courgette rice with feta & olives

Serves 4

Ready in 25-35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 100 g feta cheese, crumbled (or fat cow cheese that you can find fresh at the market)
  • handful of pitted black olives , roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (this is the best but if it is winter and you can’t find fresh, try dry or may be you put some fresh ones in the freezer)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 courgettes, roughly sliced (or other squash)
  • 250 g risotto rice , such as arborio
  • 1 l hot vegetable stock (if you don’t have this stock, try boiled water but it will ruin a lot of the taste)
  • 140 g petits pois (I know you won’t find those yet on the Romanian market so go with peas, fresh or frozen) 

Method:

  • Mix together the feta, olives, parsley and 2 tbsp of the olive oil.
  • Heat remaining oil in a large, deep pan. Tip in onion, sizzle gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add courgettes, soften for a couple of minutes, then stir in rice.
  • Pour in a ladleful of stock and stir until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add another ladle of stock and repeat until all the stock has been used, adding petit pois a couple of minutes before the last ladle. If you use peas, put them a little more ahead as they take longer to soften. Simmer until rice is tender and juices creamy. Ladle into bowls, then scatter over feta and olive crumble.

Bon appetite!

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