I am so happy to introduce my newest food associate Justine Wall. Thrilled to have her stunning recipes for you.
Justine says: “I am very sure you all have a similar recipe, but this is such a favourite of ours I had to include it, and it just perfect for a mid week meal: especially one which relies on the contents of a vegetable drawer on a Wednesday before a shop is due. I have listed the vegetables that I put into this particular dish; however you may have other wonders lurking in your fridge: green beans work very well, as do black olives: I wouldn’t go for firm vegetables such as carrots or butternut squash and the like: the short-ish cooking time of this may not be suitable for such veg. Please ensure too the veg are chopped into small cubes: you want a finished dish that is easy to spoon into bowls and eat with a fork.
Please use a good brand of tinned tomatoes: this is essential. A lot of the cheaper brands are simply made up of more water, and this is not what you want. If you don’t have chopped tomatoes, and you only have whole tinned tomatoes: this will be fine, as all you need to do is whizz up the tin of tomatoes with a hand held blender before adding to the mix. I use a large 25cm diameter frying pan for this, which I top with a lid when it is cooking: if you don’t have a lid to fit your pan, use a large piece of tin foil to wrap the top with.
We love the leftovers for lunch: perfect for Tupperwares!”
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 clove garlic, microplaned
1 medium red or white onion, finely chopped
4-5 chestnut or button mushrooms, chopped
1 courgette, cubed
1 medium red pepper, cubed
½ head broccoli, chopped
1 cup basmati rice
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp Marigold Bouillon
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Maldon salt
Good grinding black pepper
¼ cup chopped basil
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
Small handful basil and parsley, chopped
Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan until frothy. Add the chopped onions, tomato paste and garlic, and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and give a good stir to coat with the oil and butter. Add the rice, keep on a medium heat and stir in the pan for 2 minutes or so. Then add the tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, Marigold bouillon, pimenton, parsley and basil, and seasoning. Add water too at this stage: a tin and a quarter of a tin of water is what I usually use; you will not need more. Let bubble away on a high heat for a minute, then turn down to a simmer, pop a lid on, and simmer on a low heat for 25-30 minutes. By this stage, all of the liquid should have been absorbed by the rice: if not, of course let it simmer for a further few minutes.
Top with chopped parsley and basil, toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan before serving.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
Justine says: “I live on Salisbury Plain, England, in a very old, wonky thatched cottage that looks like it’s been iced with royal icing and topped with Shredded Wheat. I grew up in South Africa, but have lived in England for 18 years.
I run my design business, Hector and Haddock, from my studio at home where I design linocuts, screen prints, tea towels and greeting cards. A complete bibliophile and self confessed hoarder, all of my designs and work pay homage to vintage graphics and paper. I also use this extensive paper ephemera collection to create bespoke paper pictures for clients.
More than anything, I love to cook for people. I hope that you find these recipes helpful, inspiring and delicious, even if you don’t follow a gluten free diet. There’s more on the inspiration behind my blog in About The Plain Kitchen.”