Spinach Pesto Rice Salad

This vibrant rice salad is so packed with goodness and punchy flavours that it will brighten up everyone’s plate.  It is also so tasty that your kiddos won’t even realise all the nutrients they are taking in! 

Serve this cold with some grilled sausages, roasted chicken, poached fish… Actually it works well with pretty much any protein.  It will also keep well for a couple of days, but being rice, make sure it stays refrigerated.

 

Spinach Pesto Rice
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 cup of rice, I used brown short grain
4 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1 heaped tbsp low fat soured cream
40g pesto, jarred or fresh
Black pepper
1 tbsp pinenuts, toasted, not almost burnt like mine 😉
Drizzle of olive oil

Start by covering the rice in 2 cups of water and then bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat down so that the water is simmering.  Put a lid on the pan and allow to gently cook for 30 minutes.  Without taking off the lid, remove the pan from the heat at the end of the cooking time and set aside for 10 minutes.

Then, blend together the fresh spinach with the sour cream, pesto and a good amount of black pepper until smooth.  Taste for seasoning.

In a large bowl, combine the cooling rice with the spinach mixture thoroughly.  You now want the rice to cool down as quickly as possible, so either put the bowl in an ice bath or if cold enough, cover and straight into the fridge.

When you are ready to serve, remove from the fridge and drizzle a little olive oil over the top and a sprinkling of toasted pinenuts.

Yumbo.  Personally, I would be happy to eat this just with some roasted veggies and perhaps some grilled halloumi.

A few years ago now a friend of mine invited me for lunch and once made the most delicious classic pesto simply tossed in with some fresh tagliatelle.  It was ridiculously good and always sticks in my mind.  It helps that she is married to a proper Italiano chef!  Anyway, it was this lunch that inspired my little recipe today.  So when you have a moment Mrs G, please do share your recipe! 

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