2 tablespoons oil
1 medium-sized onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium-sized red capsicum, deseeded, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
50g salted butter
2 cups long grain rice
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetable stock
½ teaspoon salt
3 medium-sized tomatoes, coarsely chopped
20 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
125g bocconcini, drained (I used Clevedon Buffalo Co brand)
12 basil leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil

Pilaf is a Persian dish that works so well in warm weather. In making this dish, I was anxious that this might be too awesome. My fears were justified.

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1.Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot and gently cook the onion, garlic and capsicum for 4-5 minutes until tender.
2.Add the paprika and cook for a further minute.
3.Add the butter and heat until fully melted.
4.Add the rice and stir to coat the rice in butter.
5.Keep stirring to lightly toast the rice – for about 3 minutes or until the rice is just beginning to catch on the pot.
6.Add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly.
7.Add the vegetable stock and salt, lower the heat to medium and bring the stock to a simmer.
8.Add the chopped tomatoes and half of the cherry tomatoes.
9.Cover with a lid, lower the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
10.Remove from the heat, but keep covered for an additional 7-8 minutes then check the seasoning.
11.Divide the rice between 4 bowls.
12.Tear the bocconcini into quarters and dot over the pilafs with the rest of the cherry tomatoes.
13.Garnish with coarsely sliced basil leaves and drizzle each dish with olive oil.

Food styling, recipes & photography David Neville