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Black rice with grilled vegetables and mixed olives

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups black rice

4 cups cold water

1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow pepper

2 zucchini

200 grams ripe cherry tomatoes

10 black and 10 green olives, halved

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

5 leaves fresh basil, washed and chopped coarsely

salt and pepper to taste

1 strainer

1 nonstick frying pan

1 large pot

1 large mixing bowl

1 large baking tray

baking paper

Place rice in strainer and rinse with cold water.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in nonstick pan.  Add rice and toast for 1 minute stirring to avoid sticking.  Transfer rice to large pot, cover with all of the cold water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a simmer for 35-40 minutes (add water if necessary).

While the rice is cooking…

Heat oven to 180 degrees.  Wash and clean the vegetables.  Cut the peppers and zucchini into thin strips, but leave the cherry tomatoes whole.  Put vegetables in large bowl and mix gently with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and all of the sugar.   Important: do NOT add olives or salt yet.  Cut baking paper to fit inside baking tray covering the bottom and sides, spread the vegetables evenly in the tray.  The tray should be large enough that the vegetables fit inside in one layer.  Put tray in oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove tray from oven, add olives, oregano and salt (very little salt since the olives are already salty), mix gently in tray, and spread evenly again in one layer.  Set oven to broil (high), put tray back in oven, and grill vegetables and olives for 10 minutes.

Check rice (black rice sometimes cooks unevenly), and when fully cooked strain and place in center of serving dish. Remove vegetables from oven and arrange in circle around the rice. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with chopped basil.  Serve immediately.

by M & S

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