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Courgette and Tomato Pilaff

ingredients

serves 4 — 6
350 g (12 oz) long-grain rice
1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped
75 g (3 oz) butter
425 ml (15 fl oz) boiling, well-flavoured beef stock
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 - 4 small courgettes (according to size)
2 small tomatoes

method

1. Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) gas 4. Wash the rice; drain and dry by wrapping it up in a cloth.

2. in a flameproof casserole, saute the finely chopped onion in 25 g (1 oz) butter until light golden in colour. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to colour. Then pour in the boiling stock, add the thyme and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

3. Cover the casserole and place in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, not mushy.

4. Meanwhile, wash the courgettes; trim the ends and slice thinly. Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute, then peel off the skins; remove the seeds and juice and cut the flesh into dice. Saute the sliced courgettes in 25 g (1 oz) butter, stirring constantly, until the courgettes are just tender. Add the diced tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes are warmed through. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Just before serving, toss the cooked vegetables and the remaining butter into the cooked rice.

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