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Red Rice Salad with Vegetables and Pesto Sauce


Wine Recommendation: A light Italian rosé makes the perfect companion to the red rice thanks to its similar hue and wild berry flavors. Mastroberardino’s Lacrimarosa (a rosé made from Aglianico grapes in southern Italy) has the floral aromas and small berry flavors to pair with basil pesto.

Monica Larner
2 cups red rice (brown rice, farro or bulghur wheat can substitute)
1⁄2 cup washed basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1⁄4 cup grated pecorino cheese (or parmesan)
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 cup eggplant, chopped
Salt and pepper
Boil the red rice in water until al dente, drain and set aside. Prepare the pesto sauce by blending the basil, olive oil, pecorino cheese and pine nuts until smooth. Add one or two tablespoons of water to make the pesto sauce more liquid. Fry the carrots, celery and onion in a large skillet with olive oil until the onions are transparent. Add the zucchini and eggplant towards the end. Add the vegetables to the rice in a large bowl and mix in the pesto sauce. Season to taste.
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