Another gem from Delia Smith..

Just as homemade pesto does wonders for pasta so it does for rice too. This salad can be served warm as a first course and it’s really good as an accompaniment to fish or chicken main-course dishes. Served cold it makes a lovely addition to a selection of salads for a buffet.

Serves 4 -6

Italian arborio rice measured to the 8fl oz of a glass measuring jug.
1 quantity of pesto sauce, preferably homemade. (See recipe below)
16 fl oz boiling vegetable or chicken stock
5 scallions (spring onions) finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A good handful of fresh basil leaves
3 oz Parmesan Reggiano cheese shavings (made with the potato peeler)
salt and freshly ground pepper

First of all measure the rice into the glass 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 a jug (pitcher) then pour this over the rice.
Now turn on the heat and stir with a wooden spoon adding 1 tsp salt.
Then, when it begins to boil, put a 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 all the ingredients together stirring and tossing.
At this stage, taste and season with salt and pepper.
Finally, scatter some torn basil leaves, finely chopped scallions and then some of the Parmesan shavings over the surface f the salad as a garnish.
If you want to serve the salad cold, then add the basil, onion and parmesan just before serving.


PESTO SAUCE

2 oz fresh basil leaves
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 oz Pecorina Romano cheese, grated
salt and pepper

In a blender, put the basil,pine nuts, garlic and olive oil with some salt and blend until you have a puree.
Then transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the grated Pecorino cheese.