This dish was born of a sad-looking courgette in my fridge, half of a very large onion that was starting to dry out, and some bits and pieces from my cupboard. The rice makes this filling and comforting, and the cheese, tomato and slightly crisp courgettes have me reaching for a second portion even when I am pleasantly full. If you have always been a bit disdainful about courgettes, this simple supper might just change your mind… You can double the recipe quantities to serve 4 people, in which case, use a roasting tin rather than individual ovenproof dishes.
150g rice (I use standard long grain but wholemeal is really good in this)
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 200ml boiling water
1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes
a few sprigs of fresh basil
a few sprigs of fresh parsley
1 large courgette
50g Brie cheese or to taste (I admit to using much more than that at times…)
a drizzle of oil, plus a little extra to grease the ovenproof dishes
First, preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Peel and dice the onion and toss into a medium pan with the rice. Pour the stock in a little at a time on a low heat, stirring frequently until each addition is absorbed, and then adding the next. You may need to add more or less liquid until the rice is just cooked, but water to top up will be just fine if you run out of stock.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tear over the fresh basil and parsley leaves, and stir through. Remove the pan from the heat.
Finely slice the courgette into approx 1mm slices and dice the Brie into small pieces.
Spoon the rice-and-tomato-and-onion mixture into two small greased ovenproof dishes, ramekins or bowls. Scatter the Brie on top. Then lay the courgette slices over the cheese so that they overlap, and brush or drizzle with a little oil.
Cook in the oven for 15 minutes until lightly toasted on top. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve.
TIPS: If, like me, you are a big cheese fiend, add grated Parmesan or another hard strong cheese on top of the courgette before popping it in the oven.
‘Courgette, tomato and Brie gratin’ recipe from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe.
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack