Delia Smith's Vegetarian Collection is easily the most gorgeous cookbook in my library… it's even a little daunting at times to attempt to make food as beautiful as hers. But although a few of her recipes are more involving and are clearly intended for grander entertaining purposes than I usually require, there are many more simple and eloquent dishes that don't take any more know-how or time than the typical cook has but make you appear to be a trained chef to your family and friends.
This pesto rice is one such easy and elegant addition to an ordinary summer dinner that will make it seem anything but ordinary, and at the cost of very little time or effort. The fresh grated Parmesan cheese and arborio rice give it the creamy and slightly chewy texture of risotto that we all love without the fuss of the usual reduction-based cooking method for risottos, while the homemade pesto is as cool, refreshing and as perfect a background for rice as it is for pasta. One could think they're sitting at an expensive seaside Italian restaurant when this is put before them. I prefer it served warm, but it goes equally well as a cold rice salad for picnics or outdoor meals. If you discipline your diners, it will serve 4 to 6 people as given below, but it's not a bad idea to be prepared for people to ask for seconds and double the recipe.
|Delia Smith's Pesto Rice|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
From Delia's Vegetarian Collection
Published on August 8, 2007
Simple, elegant, delicious and beautiful pesto rice with the creamy and chewy texture of risotto without the trouble of the usual reduction-based method of cooking risottos