I have to admit I am something of a cook book snob. I can never bring myself to buy a cookbook with a picture of the cook/chef on the cover. To me it screams; buy me because I’m written by X, rather than buy me because I contain great food. This aversion to the smiling faces of celebrity chefs does prove problematic at times as there are some really good cook books with people on their covers. Anjum Anand’s I Love Curry comes to mind. That book combines an appalling cover photo of the chef (why the very dark lipliner?), and an appalling title (the love is denoted by a heart), so I have never been able to bring myself to buy it but I do borrow it from the local library quite frequently…. With all this in mind I was very happy to receive the River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook as a belated Christmas present. I couldn’t bring myself to buy it – Hugh’s smiling face on the cover would have proved too much, but I’m really pleased I own it (saves having it on permanent loan from the library….).
Given the current excess of zucchini coming out of the garden;
I scanned the Index for zucchini recipes and failed to find any. Thinking that can’t be right I suddenly remembered this was the English edition. I tried again under courgette and found heaps. Amongst them was a really interesting recipe that I tried this week -Courgette and Rice Pie. I’m not going to give the recipe here as I’ve only made it once and I made it fair faithfully to his recipe. I will describe it though.
It is a zucchini and rice pie in filo. Essentially you put a mixture of rice, herbs (dill and parsley), onion, egg, a little parmesan and grated zucchini into a filo shell and bake in the oven. The rice gets cooked by the water released by the zucchini. I hadn’t tried this technique before and was really impressed with the results. One thing I would say about the River Cottage recipe is that my pie took significantly longer (double the time) to cook than the time given in the book. It did turn out well in the end though:
Naturally the rest of the family were unimpressed and demanded baked beans. Secretly I was pleased by this as it has meant I have had a weeks worth of lunches sorted out with minimum effort, plus some to feed mum & dad today. As they are normal people (as opposed to zucchini haters) they enjoyed it.
I will definitely make it again (perhaps with the little feta through it for extra flavour). I will also try the rice method with other high water content veg as I really liked the technique. So if you have the book (and it does have some other decent looking recipes in it) its definitely worth a go.
Veggiegobbler hosts Thursday Garden Gobbles and this post is my contribution to it.