Serves 4 to 6. This is a wonderful side dish for any time of year, and it is especially nice and light for the summer to accompany those backyard cookouts. It can be prepared ahead of time and can be served warm or cold.

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste

4 cups cooked long-grain rice

12 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced, seeded and seasoned with pinch of salt and pepper, optional

1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, optional

1. Place fresh basil, 1/4 cup nuts and garlic in food processor and pulse until blended.

2. Add olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt, blend thoroughly.

3. Combine mixture with 4 cups cooked rice. If desired, add seasoned tomatoes and 1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts.