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perhaps a little different than your typical Mediterranean salad, yet this really works. Cool cucumbers meet sweet grape tomatoes, and spinach-walnut pesto blends its nutty creaminess against the textures of Asian black rice and couscous. Then It's all tied up with a bow from a scattering of broken pita chips. Hello, winner.

"This is great with grilled chicken or cheesy flatbread. Bring it to a gathering or on a picnic, it tastes fab cold or at room temperature."

Notes: Asian black rice is short-grained, and can be found at most markets, I find mine in the bulk grain section. Rinse well.


Ingredients: 1 cup uncooked black rice, 1 cup uncooked couscous, 1/2 chopped English cucumber, 1 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1/2 cup spinach-walnut pesto, 1 cup broken pita chips. For the Pesto: 2 cups fresh spinach, 1 handful toasted whole walnuts (toast in dry pan 5 minutes on med.), 3 Tbsp. olive oil, pinch of chili flakes, 1 Tbsp. warm water, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, pinch of salt.

1. Cook rice and couscous separately, according to package instructions, tip into large bowl.

2. Add cucumbers and tomatoes, toss lightly.

3. Make pesto by pulsing all ingredients in food processor, add to bowl and stir to combine.

4. Before serving, fold in the broken pita chips and squeeze over a spritz of lemon, if you've got it.

Tip: If you don't have spinach, you can still make the pesto using arugula or classic basil.

#salad #grains #couscous #rice #pesto #picnicfood


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