Did you know there are variations on rice dishes in many cuisines – from Turkey to the Caribbean? Now we’ve added modern Australian to the list, with this easy version using smoked ham, veggies and pesto and topped off with Parmesan. With just one bite, you’ll get why the world is obsessed!
double smoked leg ham
Finely chop the brown onion. Separate the double smoked leg ham slices and roughly chop into 2cm pieces. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Trim the green beans and slice into thirds. Cut the zucchini into 1cm chunks. Slice the lemon into wedges. Finely grate the Parmesan cheese.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Melt the butter with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the brown onion and ham and cook, stirring, for 6-7 minutes, or until the onion is softened and the ham is starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
Add the basmati rice to the pan and stir to coat. Add the warm water (see ingredients list), crumble in the chicken stock (1 cube for 2 people / 2 cubes for 4 people) and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid (or foil) and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 16-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. Season with a pinch of pepper.
When the rice has 5 minutes cook time remaining, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the green beans, zucchini and a pinch of pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly charred.
Once the rice is ready, stir through the zucchini, green beans and traditional pesto. TIP: If any rice has stuck to the bottom of the pan, scrape it off and stir it through for extra flavour!
Divide the ham and pesto rice pilaf between plates. Top with the finely grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with the lemon wedges.