The spring ingredients inspire new recipes and bring fresh flavours and colours to the table.
I like to travel with food. Here I combine two fresh onions from Tropea with two Roman courgettes and green peas. I simply boil the rice (Italian brown round rice) that I add to the vegetables. I add the mint at the very last moment, to keep its whole aroma.
The secret: I separately cook the courgettes. I blanch them for two minutes, drain and slice. I place them in a bowl, dress with oil, salt and few drops of lemon juice. Finally, I add the courgettes to the rice at the very last moment. In this way, the courgettes will keep their full texture and flavour.
Riso Primavera - Spring Rice
2 large fresh red onions from Tropea, finely chopped
250 g garden peas, frozen
2 large Roman courgettes, sliced
200 g brown round rice
A handful of fresh mint, chopped
Few drops of fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes fore the rice and 20 minutes for the vegetables
1. In a pan, bring 1 litre of water to the boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and the rice. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat two tablespoons of oil and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes on medium heat. Reduce the heat and cook for another 5 minutes, covered.
3. Add the peas to the onions and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
4. While the onions and the peas are cooking, in a pan, cover the courgettes with water and bring to the boil. Cook for two minutes (no longer), drain and slice them. Arrange the courgettes in a bowl and dress them with salt, pepper, oil and lemon while still hot. Leave to rest.
5. Drain the rice and add it to the pan with the hot onions and peas. Toss to combine.
6. Add the courgettes, the mint and mix.
7. Serve at once.