It was my father in-law’s birthday last weekend.
We took a drive to his house in the country, in his backyard was the most wonderful veggie garden. Not one with neat straight rows, but one which was wild and overgrown with edible vegetation. The plants were ten times the size of the ones in my garden. The vegetables and herbs were flourishing. It was gorgeous! Ron and Lisa insisted they don’t spend a great deal of time tending to the plants in the patch. I guess it must be the country air. Whatever it is is it certainly working.
I was lucky enough to score myself a bag of fresh broad beans to take home.
I couldn’t wait to get cooking, the beans were so young and tender they did not need to be double podded.
I made a lovely bowl of buttered brown rice, and stirred through the blanched broad beans and peas, some chopped parsley (from my not-as-lovely veggie garden), buffalo mozzarella (AMAZING!), and some diced chilli. A very typical dinner in my household – wholegrains, vegetables, cheese. Another formula I repeat often.
The buffalo mozzarella is expensive. But seriously, it is ridiculously good. And when you are just cooking up a pot of brown rice and sourcing the rest of the meal from the garden, you can almost justify the purchase.
If you cannot justify it, you can substitute it with a few balls of bocconcini, or even some crumbled goats cheese. Come to think of it, I am fairly certain that any cheese would be delicious. You could also experiment with other herbs. If the mint in my garden was happier, I absolutely would have added some to the dish. Yes green thumbs, you heard correctly, my MINT is unhappy. I’m working on it..
Brown Rice with Broad Beans, Peas + Buffalo Mozzarella
– 3/4 cup brown basmati rice
– 1 cup podded broad beans
– 1 cup peas
– 2 Tbsp butter
– handful chopped parsley
– zest and juice of 1 lemon
– 1 birds eye chilli (or less if you prefer), diced
– 1 ball of buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks
– salt and pepper
- Start by placing the brown rice in a pot with 1 and a half cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down to the lowest setting and cover. Let it simmer gently until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked, about 45 – 50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blanch the peas and broad beans together in a large pot of boiling salted water. Bring back to the boil and cook for one minute, strain, then run under cold water to prevent them from cooking further.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir through the butter, the lemon zest and juice, and a few big pinches of salt.
- Add the cooked beans and peas, the chopped parsley and chilli, and stir to combine. Place the torn chunks of buffalo mozzarella into the bowl and mix through gently. Taste and check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Spoon into bowls and serve with freshly ground pepper.
- Serves 2 very hungry people for dinner.