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Pesto Rice with Garlic Bread

ingredients

serves 4
300 g (10 1/2 oz) 1 1/2 cups mixed long-grain and wild rice
fresh basil sprigs, to garnish
tomato and orange salad, to serve

pesto dressing

15 g (1/2 oz) fresh basil
125 g (4 1/2 oz) 1 cup pine kernels (nuts)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 tbsp olive oil
60 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper

garlic bread

2 small granary or whole wheat French bread sticks
90 g (3 oz) 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried mixed herbs

method

1. Place the rice in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes. Drain well and keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, make the pesto dressing. Remove the basil leaves from the stalks and finely chop the leaves. Reserve 25 g (1 oz) 1/4 cup of the pine kernels (nuts) and finely chop the remainder. Mix with the chopped basil and dressing ingredients. Alternatively, put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend for a few seconds until smooth. Set aside.

3. To make the garlic bread, slice the bread at 2.5 cm (1 inch) intervals, taking care not to slice all the way through. Mix the butter or margarine with the garlic, herbs and seasoning. Spread thickly between each slice.

4. Wrap the bread in foil and bake in a preheated oven, 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6, for 10 - 15 minutes.

5. To serve, toast the reserved pine kernels (nuts) under a preheated medium grill (broiler) for 2 - 3 minutes until golden. Toss the pesto dressing into the hot rice and pile into a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle with toasted pine kernels (nuts) and garnish with basil sprigs. Serve with the garlic bread and a tomato and orange salad.

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