When you think of pesto, you probably think of basil and pine nuts. This quick, easy Nut Pesto Green Rice starts with an elegant blend of parsley, garlic, lemon, walnuts, olive oil and almonds.
Once you have blended the ingredients in your food processor, you simply stir the pesto into cooked rice. A simple, yet satisfying and beautiful side dish.
Parsley, as I remember hearing while growing up, has lots of iron in it – were you told to eat your parsley? But so often people don’t eat that little garnish on your plate at the restaurant.
Parsley can have a sharp flavor that people avoid. This is a shame because bitter foods help in digestion! If one of your goals is to eat more of your plant foods raw, this is a good recipe for you because the parsley doesn’t come across as bitter.
Blended with the nuts, salt, garlic, lemon and oil as in this recipe, parsley loses the bite it sometimes has when you taste it plain. Its green color makes the dish seem even more rich and wholesome. Walnuts, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can also have a bitter taste. Here, though, they contribute a rich creamy texture to the pesto.
Best of all, once you have the rice cooked and the other ingredients assembled, you are only 5 food-processor minutes away from serving this lovely side dish.
The cucumber gives a nice refreshing surprise and sweet flavor. The Nut Pesto Green Rice is perfect paired with a dish like Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #amealinmind on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. Thank you so much!!
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Nut-Pesto Green Rice
For the rice:
- 1 c brown basmati rice
- 2 c water for cooking
For the green nut pesto:
- ¼ cup almonds
- ¼ cup walnut pieces
- 2 cloves garlic depending on size of cloves (2 tsp)
- 1 bunch parsley de-stemmed (generous ½ cup tightly packed leaves)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cucumber diced, for garnish
- pepper to taste
- Soak rice in 2 c water, changing often, for at least 8 hrs.
- Cook rice at a slow simmer until water is absorbed, or cook in a rice cooker.
- While rice is cooling, blend almonds, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor until in tiny pieces but not all the way to nut butter.
- Process in parsley, salt, lemon juice and oil until the mixture is a pesto-like paste. When rice has cooled a bit, stir nut-pesto mixture into it.
- Add pepper to taste.
- Top with cucumber and a few extra leaves of parsley.
- Delicious with a dish such as black bean sweet potato chili (link here).
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