Thinly slice 1/2 the zucchini into rounds that are 1/4 inch (.635 cm) thick, season the slices with sea salt on both sides and set aside, cut the other half of zucchini into large chunks, finely chop 1 small onion, roughly chop 6 cloves of garlic and finely grate the tomatoes to end up with 1/2 cup (115 grams) tomato sauce
Heat a large fry pan with a medium heat and add in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Meanwhile, add the slices of zucchini over paper towels and pat dry, then add them into the pan with the hot olive oil, all in a single layer, saute for 2 minutes per side, then remove from the pan, season with black pepper and set aside
Using the same pan with the same heat, add in the chopped onion, the chunks of zucchini and the chopped garlic, mix with the olive oil, after 3 minutes and the onion is translucent, add in the 1/2 cup tomato sauce, mix together and simmer
After 3 minutes and the tomato sauce has thickened, add in 1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas (drained & rinsed) and season with sea salt & black pepper, gently mix together, then add in 2 cups vegetable broth and pinch in 1/4 tsp saffron threads, turn up the heat to a high heat and bring to a boil, then add in 1 cup long grain rice (rinsed), mix together, place a lid on the pan and lower to a low-medium heat
Once all the broth has been absorbed and the rice is fully cooked through (15 minutes in my case, check rice package instructions), remove the pan from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, add the sauteed slices of zucchini over the rice and finely grate in a 1/4 cup of Manchego cheese, serve at once, enjoy!
Get the Saffron Threads I used to make this recipe