I tend to over-make the rice for most rice occasions. As a result, we usually have a big Corningware dish full of leftover rice in our refrigerator. I’m not going to lie and say I’m organized & do that on purpose to make for quick meal prep later. I have no reason to lie to you, dear readers! However, it does make things convenient. Brown rice is super hearty (for rice) and more nutritious than white rice. The problem is it takes a long time to cook & isn’t sticky enough for my taste. I love me some sticky rice, mm hmmm. Saving brown rice for use in later recipes helps it to absorb just a tiny bit more moisture in reheating. I recommend using watery vegetables like squash or eggplant if you’re using “old”-cooked rice so you can fluff up those brown grains a tad bit more. Yum!
Oh, the recipe…I almost forgot. I like to chat more than recipe-blog in the mornings, I guess. My sweet husband started making this dish with inspiration from something he saw somewheres online. I finished it while he grilled some salmon to accompany it. You might notice I mention seasoning with salt & pepper a lot. It’s one of those things I picked up from watching Giada de Laurentiis during naptimes when I babysit. She always recommends seasoning every layer. I think it prevents me from dumping too much salt in at any one time, and it keeps the dish flavorful without overpoweringly salty. I guess it helps me become “one” with what I’m cooking, too! Ya gotta keep tasting! This is also one of those moments when I decide cans of fire-roasted tomatoes ought to be in every pantry. They add so much flavor to your cooking. One of these days I’ll roast my own ‘maters. Today, though…today is a day when I feel fab about opening a can and making something amazing out of it.
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1/4 c red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
2-3 c cooked brown rice
1/4 tsp Italian seasonings
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
2 tbsp butter
In a large skillet, saute onions in about 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle with sea salt and cook until onions are tender and slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and zucchini, season lightly with salt & pepper, and cook until garlic becomes fragrant and zucchini begins to sweat, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and simmer for about a minute, allowing the acidity of the tomatoes to lightly soften the zucchini. Taste; add salt and pepper if necessary. Add rice after about a minute of cooking tomatoes with zucchini; stir until fully combined. Sprinkle with Italian seasonings and crushed red pepper (if using) and additional salt & pepper. Heat thoroughly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when most of the rice is hot and pink-ish from the tomatoes. Stir in the butter until melted. Serve immediately.