Baked Summer Ratatouille
One of the first local recipes we made for the Oregon Food Bank's Eat Local Challenge!
We’re heading away again soon for my sister-in-law’s wedding. I’m so excited about it! It’s taking up most of my brain right now. I’m already packed even though we don’t actually leave for several days. I’m already thinking about what books are going in my carry on. Oh, and I have a toast to write. It’s been on my mind a bit.
We’ve also been prepping our kitchen for our absence. This week, we bought bread and a little fruit for groceries, and nothing more. We made an awesome macaroni and cheese with the remnants in the cheese drawer (don’t worry, recipe to come!). I was grating all of the little leftover chunks right down to the rinds. We don’t have a lot of fresh vegetables that aren’t long-lived ones like carrots. We’ve got just enough fruit to put in our work lunches and to take on the plane. And dinners for the next couple of days? Well, there’s some broccoli in the fridge. We’ll probably do something with that. I always like the challenge of putting something together with odds and ends (Chopped people, call me!).
This great pilaf was also the result of the fridge-emptying. I almost never plan on making pilafs, for some reason – it just isn’t one of those recipes that lives in the front of my brain. We’ve barely used the grains in our pantry at all this summer, actually. But we had some mushrooms that needed using and plenty of delicious veggie broth made from cobs from the summer’s fresh corn. And that’s kind of the beauty of this… you don’t need a lot to make it happen, and it’s actually a really nice meatless main or side. I think I’ll be doing this more often.
Here’s what you need:
Start by heating 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add in the wild rice and toast until the smaller grains appear a little transparent. Then, add in the salt and 4 cups of the vegetable broth and bring to a low boil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, keeping at a lively simmer/low boil. Taste at 20 minutes for doneness, and add more broth if you think you will need it.
While the rice finishes cooking, heat the other Tbsp. of olive oil in a small skillet and lightly sautée the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms, chopped chives, lemon and lemon zest to the finished rice. Taste and season with more salt or lemon if you so desire. Season with freshly ground black pepper and garnish with chives.
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