Brown Rice with Basil Walnut Pesto

11 Sep

Basil Walnut Pesto Rice

Lightly fried brown rice with basil walnut pesto made fresh at home. A filling and nutritious one-pot meal.

The flavor of walnuts complements the nuttiness of brown rice beautifully. I tried this recipe with white rice as well, which was fine except that it missed the distinctive quality that its rougher sibling brings to the dish. Go brown for this one.

Brown Rice with Basil Walnut Pesto

You Need:

  • Brown rice* – 1 cup
  • Olive oil – 2 teaspoons

*I have used the slow-cooking variety of brown rice. Adjust the cooking time/method according to the brown rice you are using.

For the basil walnut pesto:

  • Fresh basil leaves – 1 cup, packed
  • Walnuts kernels – 1/3 cup
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper corns – 1 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – 1/4 cup

How To Make Brown Rice with Basil Walnut Pesto:

1. Cook the rice

Wash and soak a cup of brown rice in two cups of water overnight (or for 7-8 hours). Cook till done.

Indian pressure cooker method of cooking brown rice: For one cup of brown rice, add two cups of water. Lock the lid the pressure cooker. Cook on high heat till two whistles. Reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes. Switch off the heat and let the cooker release steam naturally, till the lid can come off.

Unlock the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and close the lid again for 5 minutes.

Boiled Brown Rice

Let the rice cool to room temperature before using it further for this recipe.

2. Make basil walnut pesto

Grind together garlic cloves, pepper corns and walnuts with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. When well-crushed, add salt, basil leaves and the rest of the olive oil. Grind everything together to a coarse pesto.

Basil Walnut Pesto

3. Bring it all together

In a pan, heat two teaspoons of olive oil. On high heat, add the boiled brown rice and cook for two minutes, moving the rice around regularly. Add the basil walnut pesto to the rice. Toss and remove from heat.

Cover and let the pesto rice stand for 5 minutes, to allow the flavors to infuse.

Brown rice with basil walnut pesto is ready to eat. Dig in.

Basil Walnut Pesto Rice


Looking for more pesto recipes? Try coriander parsley pesto and dishes you can make with pesto.

For another rice-pesto rice combination, see spinach rice with coriander pesto and cashew nuts.

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