The full title of this recipe is Asparagus and Red Pepper Rice with Mozzarella and Mint, but as that lists nearly every ingredient in the dish I thought I should I should shorten it a little. Y'know, leave a little somethin' somethin' to the imagination. I'm mysterious like that...
Moving away from my mysterious nature and onto the recipe - I really wanted to post this recipe on a sunny day, so that the cheeky vitamin D would have you reaching for the asparagus. It is the perfect spring/summer dish (especially as asparagus is currently in season - yay!) but the British weather keeps ruining my plans. Every time I've gone to post this recipe the weather has taken a turn for the grey and for the miserable - rude, right?. But as this delicious little recipe has been waiting in the wings for THREE WHOLE WEEKS now, I'm throwing caution to the wind and suggesting you whip this dish up come rain or shine. And you really should, it's cracking. This recipe serves up generous bowls of fragrant rice, fresh with shredded mint, studded with red pepper and asparagus and all incredibly fresh and zingy with lemon. I mean c'mon - it's just begging for a summery evening to be enjoyed on. Even if that evening is spent wrapped up in jumpers and rain macs - British summer style.
I always try to cook with seasonal fruit and vegetables to cut costs and it is great to know what is in abundance when you go shopping. Have a quick google before you shop then look out for seasonal goods - they're bound to be cheaper. I snagged myself a fat bunch of asparagus the other day for just 60p! Hurrah! If you're able to grow your own mint too, extra brownie points for you.
For Asparagus and Red Pepper Rice you will need (serves 2-3):
1 bunch asparagus
1 red pepper
1 ball mozzarella
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 handful mint leaves
3 handfuls basmati rice
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Begin by putting your rice onto boil. Then grab your asparagus, chop off the woody ends and then slice into bite-size chunks.
When your rice has 3 minutes left to boil, add in your asparagus (my basmati rice takes 10 minutes to cook completely, so I add to asparagus at 7 minutes).
Once the rice and asparagus has boiled together for 3 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water until completely cool. Set to one side.
Prep the rest of your ingredients by coring, deseeding and dicing your pepper, finely chopping your mint, shredding the mozzarella and then zest and juice the lemon.
In a large bowl or the saucepan you used to cook the rice, tip in the rice and asparagus along with the pepper, mozzarella, mint and lemon zest.
Add in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Pour in the lemon juice and season to taste. And you're done!
Spoon into bowls and serve with smiles and hopes of a little sunshine (please, British weather?!)