I’m getting summer withdrawal symptoms. I know it’s only been a couple of weeks since the weather got colder but I just can’t help it, I just wasn’t born to survive at temperatures under 20C. I’m dreaming of sunshine, pottering around the garden, long walks in the countryside, picnics and summer dresses. You may be wondering why I decided to move from Italy to England but that’s another story…
So yesterday, instead of curling up on the sofa playing with my Playstation and feeling sorry for myself (believe me, I was tempted!), I decided to make one dish that I often prepare in summer, a humble salad with brown rice, feta cheese and vegetables. I guess I wanted to bring summer back somehow, even with just a quick lunch!
Just like the vast majority of my recipes, today’s recipe is something that you can tweak to your personal preferences by simply swapping the vegetables used according to your taste.
I used grilled courgettes because they are a staple in our house in summer and their sweetness goes extremely well with the saltiness of feta cheese. But if you want to make it more seasonal, keep the rice and the feta as a base and add more autumnal vegetables such as roasted butternut squash or steamed kale.
Speaking of which, if you want to learn more about what’s in season when, take a look at this page on BBC Good Food – super useful!
I know it doesn’t look like the prettiest thing but, then again, how many times have you made something that tasted great but perhaps didn’t look so amazing?
This little salad cheered me up to no end and I guess that’s one of the many beautiful things about good food, isn’t it? Here’s how you can make it…
- 300g brown rice
- 3 medium courgettes
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 200g feta cheese, crumbled
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper to taste
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add rice. Cook for 25-30 minutes until tender. Drain well and cool.
- While the rice is cooking, heat a cast-iron griddle pan and grill the courgettes in batches, turning often until charred and just tender.
- Mix the rice and the courgettes in a large bowl, then add the grated carrot and the crumbled feta. Drizzle with olive oil and add a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Serve warm or cold.
What’s the dish that always cheers you up, no matter what?