Quinoa/Pearl barley with courgettes and onions...

I bought 4 nice courgettes (zucchinis) recently and didn't feel like making "fritters" out of them - AGAIN! So a quick flip through my cook books and I've found a perfect recipe. Perfect because it meant something different, something new and I thought (how I was wrong!) that I have all the ingredients at hand.
Book on the counter, pan ready on the stove, time to gather all the ingredients and get cooking. First courgettes - washed and cut, onions - thinly sliced, time to cook the quinoa - NO quinoa! Not even cous cous! Panic! But... think, think, think - have some pearl barley, that should do :) Next herbs, thyme and parsley - again nada! Some dry thyme but NO parsley at all... Well, will have to do without it. Going through the rest of the list... Garlic - chopped, pine nuts - NOTHING, again... At this stage some would already give up - NOT me :) Lemon juice - well, if you consider moldy half of lemon proper for consumption... Fortunately had some lemon juice (in a nice plastic lemon shaped bottle) in the fridge.
With slightly altered ingredients' list I've actually managed to cook a great dish! Nice flavours and will definitely have to try it next time AS IT IS in the recipe ;) If you happen to have ALL the ingredients I hope you'll give this one a go! :)

Recipe comes from a great book "Veg Everyday" by River Cottage.

How to make it...
- 800 g courgettes, cut into 5 mm thick slices (it's about 4 medium courgettes)
- a knob of butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 onions, halved and finely sliced (used only 2 big ones)
- a few sprigs of thyme, leaves only (didn't have any)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200 g quinoa (I used pearl barley)
- a good handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 50g pine nuts, lightly toasted (didn't have any, have to stock up my cupboard)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the oil and butter and once the butter has melted add the zucchini, onions, thyme and salt and pepper. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the zucchini and tender and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.
While the zucchini and onions are cooking, rinse the quinoa in several changes of cold water and then place in a saucepan along with plenty of cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the long white kernels are coming away from the seeds. Tip into a sieve and leave to drain and steam.
Combine the quinoa and zucchini and onions and toss to mix well. Add the parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir well. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts.


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