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Claire ThomsonCourgette, Black Olive and Rice Gratin

Claire Thomson's Courgette, Black Olive and Rice Gratin

Brought to you by: Ocado

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Serves: 4

This courgette, black olive and rice gratin recipe by food writer Claire Thomson, is not a dish to serve piping hot. Instead, plate it up warm with a green salad – rocket leaves are especially good for their lively bite. Work in batches to get some colour on the courgettes; other than that, this is a lazy, leisurely, bung-it-in-the-oven ensemble. Use the same method and switch around the summer vegetables if you like: baked cherry tomatoes, fried aubergines or squash, or blanched broad beans or green beans would all work. Looking for more side dishes? Look no further.
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  • 250g short grain, risotto or paella rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg courgettes
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zested then cut into wedges
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100ml chicken or vegetable stock, or water
  • 120g black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 80g parmesan, finely grated
  • ½ chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 bag salad leaves, dressed (optional)


Step 1

Put the rice in a saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Add 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-12 minutes, until cooked. Drain and spread the rice out to cool in a baking dish with 1 tbsp of the olive oil mixed through.

Step 2

Thinly slice the courgettes with a mandoline or a sharp knife. Heat another 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a wide saucepan and, in batches, fry the sliced courgettes over a medium heat for 3-5 mins, until soft and beginning to caramelise. Drain each batch in a colander while you fry the remaining batches.

Step 3

Preheat the oven 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas 4. With the courgettes draining, heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in the same pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for 10 minutes, until soft and translucent.

Step 4

Add the garlic and oregano and fry for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

Step 5

Add the drained courgettes back into the pan with the onions, mix well, add the lemon zest and season well with salt and pepper.

Step 6

Add the courgette mixture to the rice in the baking dish. Add the cream, chicken stock, olives and half the parmesan and mix well.

Step 7

Put the baking dish in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and coloured at the edges. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving with the remaining parmesan and the chilli flakes (if using) sprinkled over the top. Serve the lemon wedges alongside some dressed salad leaves, if you like.

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