It's very hot in the Midwest right now, so I’ve been trying to keep cool any way I can. The many crisp green salads I ate to cope with the heat were fine for a while, but I need to move on. To find an alternative, I picked up Sicilian Home Cooking by Wanda Tornabene and Giovanna Tornabene and got stuck on this quick little rice salad with pesto and shrimp. It sounded like the perfect escape from the oppressive heat.
This probably works better with day-old rice, besides that it would make the whole recipe much easier, but that's assuming you have any hanging out in the fridge. I never seem to be prepared in that regard. I am, however, always prepared for pesto. Whenever I buy basil, I immediately use the leftovers to make pesto. That way the basil never goes bad, and I'm left with a freezer full of gorgeous green sauce ready to go at any moment. It freezes extremely well, and helps round out a dish like this one without requiring much effort at all.
- 6 stalks asparagus, ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup rice
- 1/2 pound shrimp
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- Aalt and pepper
Toss the rice into a pot with 2 cups of water. Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of butter. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered, and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and lay out on a pan to cool down.
Remove the shells from the shrimp. Toss in a pot filled with water. Bring to a boil. Remove the shells with a strainer and then toss in the shrimp. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for 8-10 minutes. When done toss in some ice water to chill. Dry on some paper towels.
Meanwhile, cook the asparagus pieces in some simmering water for 5 minutes. When done, shock them in ice water, and then dry on paper towels.