08 November 2012

brown rice risotto-style. with zucchini & kale pesto.






A sigh of relief. The presidential election is over, some great social progress made here in Maine-- I am glad to move on and forward. Plus it is snowing this morning...it's pretty exciting.

Here is a cozy, healthy dinner that is reminiscent of risotto with out the butter or cheese. You have to have a little more standing-around-time for this meal, but it is really relaxing. Invite someone in the kitchen with you for a chat, or have a glass of wine. The stirring is fun.

brown rice with zucchini & kale pesto.
serves 2-4

olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3/4 cup short grain brown rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want to go vegan on this one), warmed
  1. In a large pan over medium heat, add oil, onions & celery. Cook, stirring occasionally  until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes). 
  2. Add the rice. Add cook for about 4 minutes. Add the wine. When the wine is absorbed, start adding the broth on ladle-full at a time, stir frequently, letting the rice absorb the liquid. 
  3. This process may take about 30 minutes as the grain is brown rice which takes a little longer than arborio rice, which is used to make risotto.

1 cup grated zucchini
1 heaping spoonful of kale pesto*
1 kale leaf, finely chopped
1/2 lemon
  1. Once the rice is tender & looking a little oozy, add zucchini & pesto. Give the rice a vigorous stir to make it a little more creamy. 
  2. Add the chopped kale, a squeeze of lemon juice & cover for about 2 minutes to let it wilt a bit. Serve as a side with fish, roasted vegetables or roasted chicken depending on your preference. Or eat as a complete meal like I did...

kale pesto*
makes approx. 2 cups
This is good on rice noodles or an a pizza...It is a little bitter, so use sparingly tasting as you apply it to foods.

1 clove of garlic
1/2 small sweet onion quartered
2 TBL roasted almonds
1/2 bunch of kale, torn
sea salt & cracked pepper
olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
  1. Add garlic, onion, almonds, kale, sea salt & cracked pepper into a food processor. Blitz until fine, with the motor running, add oil until the pesto is combined & smooth. 
  2. You can store in the refrigerator for a few weeks, just top off the pesto with a little olive oil so it doesn't turn brownish on top. Or freeze in an air-tight container.
happy eatings & cheers!


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