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Source: USA Rice Federation

Layered Rice Pesto and Pepper Bake
This is a great do-ahead dish -- and it's so pretty! Serve as a side or light meal.
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Serves: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes
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3 cups cooked long-grain rice
1 3/4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Non stick vegetable spray
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
10 ounces jarred roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry and chopped

Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a 7-inch soufflé dish or springform pan with nonstick vegetable spray.

Put the rice and 1 1/2 cups of the Parmesan cheese in a mixing bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon half of the rice mixture into the dish and pat into the pan.

Spread half of the pesto over the rice and sprinkle with half of the goat cheese. Layer half of the red peppers over the cheese and then repeat the layers. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese over the top of the casserole.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through. Cut into wedges to serve.

Note: If you make this ahead of time and refrigerate it, let it come to room temperature and then heat it in the oven, uncovered, until heated through. 

Per Serving: 433 calories; 25 g fat; 865 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 21 g protein

Courtesy "Rice to the Rescue!" contest winner: Manika Misra

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