Nigel Slater’s puffed rice with courgette and tomatoes recipe

Cut 300g of courgettes in half lengthways, then into small cubes, each about 2cm square.

In a shallow-sided pan, warm 1 tsp each of coriandolo e cumin seeds over a moderate heat for 3 o 4 minutes until they are fragrant and their colour has darkened a little. Shake the pan from time to time so the seeds don’t burn. Remove from the heat, tip the seeds into a spice grinder or mortar and process to a fine powder.

Pour 2 tbsp of olio d'oliva into the pan and add the cubed courgettes. Let them cook over a moderate heat for 7-10 minuti, until their edges are pale gold and their flesh translucent. Remove from the pan.

In the empty pan, warm 2 tbsp of oliva, groundnut o olio vegetale poi, keeping the heat low, add the ground spices, 1 tsp of garam masala e 1 tsp of curry powder (mild, I suggest, rather than hot), then 50g of whole, skinned almonds. Let them cook for a minute or two, moving everything round the pan, until nuttily fragrant.

Drain a 400g can of chickpeas and stir into the almonds and spices, then introduce 30g of sunflower seeds and 30g of puffed (unsweetened) rice. Roughly chop 200g of pomodori and add to the pan, letting them cook for a couple of minutes then stirring in a handful of chopped parsley. Return the courgettes to the pan and stir together until they are hot and coated in spices.

Squeeze in the juice of half a Limone e, perhaps, a little salt. Enough for 2

The rice you need for this is plain, unsweetened puffed rice, available from health food shops.

This is an exceptionally good accompaniment for cold roast meats.

Use cashews in place of the almonds if you wish, or cucumber – peeled and cubed – in place of the courgettes.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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