Eric and I started making this the first month we were married, and living like church mice in Venice Beach, California. It is inexpensive to make (obvi) and super delicious. It also fills you up so that you don't need to eat meat with it unless you want to. In that case, we would usually split a full grilled chicken breast.
The rice is Jasmine, which I love, for its fine floral flavor and soft, yet firm texture. As for zucchini, you need about 8 oz. 1 large, or 2 small is fine. Look for shiny alligator-green skin that isn't bruised and a green, fresh stem with its moisture still intact. If it is dried out or pale and splintering- that's a no-go. This recipe is simple and quick- especially if you sauté the zucchini while the rice cooks. About fifteen minutes, tops. YUM!
"You can absolutely make this with other squashes. Summer squash comes to mind as well as pattypan."
Notes: Jasmine rice is Trader Joe's. Olive oil is extra-virgin.
Ingredients: 8 oz. zucchini-stripe-peeled and sliced,1 cup uncooked jasmine rice, 1 1/3 cups water, 1 large garlic clove-chopped, 2-3 tbsp. olive oil, sea salt, 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1. Bring water, rice and a big pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and turn down to simmer, 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is fluffy.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Tip in zucchini. Add garlic on top of the zucchini and a pinch of salt.
3. Cook zucchini, flipping infrequently, so that it browns and blisters as it softens, about 7-10 minutes.
4. Fluff the rice with a fork, then tumble it into the zucchini. Stir gently to combine.
5. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil, up to 1 tbsp., and add the parsley. Stir again. Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately.
Tip: Zucchini can have a lot of moisture, so if you want to ensure a crispy rather than steamed texture, pat it dry after slicing.