I spent the last weekend of April in Istria, drinking wonderful wine and eating my way though humongous quantities of fresh bread, prosciutto, wild asparagus and pasta! I came back fully sated and a couple kilos heavier. But who cares!!
The view of the sea brought back memories of summers past and I had to seriously restrain myself from dipping into the water, the Adriatic is still quite cold for my Aegean constitution!
Coming back to Zagreb I need something to remind me of the sea! That is, something different from the mini heatwave we've been experiencing! So I venture into the farmer's market to buy my favourite summer vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and courgettes!
Fresh thyme and feta cheese just completed my homage to the Mediterranean, serving as a prelude to what is going to follow over the next few months!
Adapted from The Food Doctor Ultimate Diet by Ian Marber
1 onion finely sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little to drizzle over the courgettes
100 gr (3 1/2oz) brown risotto rice
200 ml (7 oz) vegetable stock
2 springs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
2 medium courgettes cut into medium thin slices (I used a mandolin)
250 gr (8oz) red peppers coarsely chopped
A squeeze of lemon juice
50 gr feta cheese (or more :)
In a big saucepan soften the onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir for a few seconds. Add the stock and the thyme, stir well and leave to simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the rice is just cooked and the stock is absorbed.
Put the courgettes and the peppers in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and to so that are all covered with oil. Put under a medium - hot grill and brown turning them regularly.
When the rice is cooked, mix with the vegetables and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve topped with crumbled feta cheese.
You can pair this dish with a light fruity rose like Roxanich Rose 2009 or an aromatic Malvazia from Poletti