Monday, 14 May 2012

Pesto Rice Salad

Our friends Simon and Karen used to have a BBQ every summer at their home and invite all their friends and colleagues. That was an awful lot of people. They had the catering down to perfection after a couple of years. This was one of the most popular dishes done in vast quantities. I would sometimes only eat this at the BBQ, it was so delicious.  It's amazing how food can evoke really strong happy memories. As soon as Steve took a mouthful tonight he said how much this reminded him of being at Simon and Karen's house. This is another reipe from Delia's 'Summer Collection'.

Serves 4 - 6

For the pesto rice salad:
225 ml arborio risotto rice, measured in a glass measuring jug
450 ml vegetable stock, boiling
1 lemon, juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
fresh basil leaves
4 spring onions, finely chopped
25 g parmesan, (Parmigiano Reggiano) shavings (made with a potato peeler)
black pepper

For the pesto sauce:
50 g leaves basil (I only had 30g)
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp pine kernels
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
25 g parmesan, grated
salt to taste

To make the pesto sauce, if you have a blender, put in the basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil together with some salt and blend until you have a smooth purée. Then transfer the purée to a bowl and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. If you don't have a blender, use a large pestle and mortar to pound the basil, garlic and pine nuts to a paste. Slowly add the salt and cheese, then very gradually add the oil until you have obtained a smooth purée.

Now measure the rice into a glass measuring jug, then add about one quarter of the pesto sauce to it and stir it around to coat all the grains. Tip the mixture into a shallow saucepan or frying pan with a lid and pour the boiling stock into the jug, then pour this over the rice. Now turn on the heat and stir with a wooden spoon, adding 1 level teaspoon of salt. Then, when it begins to boil, put the lid on, turn the heat down to low and let the rice cook for exactly 20 minutes.

As soon as it's ready, tip all the rice into a serving bowl, then simply pour in the lemon juice, olive oil and the remaining pesto sauce. Combine the ingredients together, stirring and tossing. At this stage taste and season with salt and pepper. Finally scatter some torn basil leaves, finely chopped spring onion and then some shavings of Parmesan over the surface of the salad as a garnish. If you want to serve the salad cold, add the basil, onion and Parmesan just before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment