Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lemon Thyme Zucchini Rice Casserole

In my last post I mentioned growing more herbs this year, which necessitates more creativity on my part to cook with herbs ready for harvest.  My thyme has been growing like mad, so I made this rice dish, modified from a recipe I had found online sometime ago.  I'm surprised how great it turned out, and a friend tried the recipe with basil instead of thyme and LOVED it. :)  I think the key is to use good-quality cheese, and the lemon gives it a nice tang.  This is definitely going into my regular rotation.

Lemon Thyme Zucchini Rice Casserole
Lemon Thyme Zucchini Rice Casserole


Long grain rice, uncooked, 1.5 cups
Fresh thyme leaves, 1 tbsp
Lemon juice, 1 tbsp (about 1/2 a lemon)
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Olive oil, 2 tbsp
Zucchini, 1.5 lbs, cubed
Green onions, 3, sliced
Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garlic salt
Paprika, 1 tsp
Oregano, 1 tsp dried
Plum tomatoes, 4, chopped
Sharp cheddar cheese, one 1/3-lb block, freshly shredded, divided
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook rice, thyme leaves, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in rice cooker (or follow package directions if a rice cooker is not available).
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook the zucchini, green onions, and garlic about 5 minutes, until zucchini is tender.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, paprika, and oregano.  Mix in cooked rice, tomatoes, and cheese, preserving some of cheese for the topping.
  4. Spray a 2.5 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.  Transfer content from the skillet to the casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 12 minutes.

Yields 4-5 servings