Garlic Rice with Sautéd Zucchini & Tomatoes

I adore starch of any kind. So it should come as no surprise that I love rice.  All kinds of rice. Depending on what I am serving usually informs how I serve up the rice.  For this particular dinner party I wanted something warm and cozy.  In my world that usually means pasta but in this instance I had my heart set on rice, so the I chose a short grain grain to be sautéd with garlic.  I also needed to serve a vegetable and in keeping with the warm and cozy theme, I immediately thought of zucchini and roasted tomatoes.  All those flavors together make me think of diving into a soft, sweet dish of yum.

Our stars of the evening.

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 This set up should come as no surprise to you.  Roasted tomatoes are versatile little jewels.

This set up should come as no surprise to you.  Roasted tomatoes are versatile little jewels.

Ingredients

2-3 Zucchini, cut in small pieces
2 Yellow Squash, cut in small pieces
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
cherry tomatoes
Short grain rice, either paella rice or aborio
1 shallot, chopped
7-8 cloves garlic, 3-4 thinly slices, the rest for roasting whole
Magic 3 (oil, salt, pepper)

Instructions

Roast the tomatoes, as I know you know how to do by now.  But if you need a little recall, click here.

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While the tomatoes are roasting, cook your rice according the package, making the amount you need.  I have been loving this paella rice.  I pick up several bags at Despaña so my cupboard is always stocked.

While the rice is cooking, prep your vegetables.

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Once you have everything chopped, sauté the onions and shallots until soft then add the zucchini, squash, salt and pepper.   The goal is to not make them too mushy but to get a nice caramelization going.

After the zucchini is cooked and removed from the pan, use the same pan to sauté the rice.   Add a generous amount of oil and sauté the garlic until lightly browned, add salt and pepper to release the aromas. Then add the rice and toss until coated.  Finally, plate your entire dish.   This is how I presented it, but certainly you can serve in separate platters or find your presentation style.

This was exactly what I hoped it would be... warm and cozy, sweet and savory.  It paired beautifully with arugula and warm mushroom salad and fish that was served.  It's rustic with a tad of elegant.  Oh who cares about that, it tasted delicious.

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