Who doesn’t love a simple pesto sauce especially as it freezes beautifully, making it one of those easy pasta suppers that you throw together in minutes when you come home feeling too tired to cook?
This version made with Brazil nuts, parsley, tarragon and lemon is fragrant and rich-tasting and the flavors will complement fish, chicken or grilled lamb as a side dish.
Served on it’s own with pasta (or as in this case, with arborio rice), it makes a wonderful vegetarian entrée, in which case you’ll just need to add a few extra shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Just cook the pasta in the usual way and toss the pesto into the hot, not overly-drained pasta to serve.
Serve this dish warm or at room temperature.
BRAZIL NUT PESTO with ARBORIO RICE
(Serves 4 or 6 as a side dish)
For the pesto:
1/2 cup (120 ml measure) of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup (60ml measure) of Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp of finely grated lemon zest
3 tbsp of extra-v olive oil
3 heaped tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
In a food processor combine everything except the olive oil, cheese, sea salt and black pepper. Pulse a few times until you have a coarse paste.
Add the olive oil and Parmesan and pulse again until combined. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Cover and refrigerate overnight or freeze it but make sure you bring it back to room temperature before using.
To make the pesto rice you’ll need:
One quantity of the pesto from above, at room temp
8 fl oz (225ml) measure of arborio rice
1 pint (450ml) of boiling vegetable bouillon/stock (preferably organic)
The juice of half a lemon, or so
2 tbsp of extra-v olive oil
Extra shavings of Parmesan (if serving it on it’s own)
Put the rice in a heavy pan with a lid, along with about 1/4 of the pesto recipe. Pour the boiling stock over this, along with 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of sea salt, give it a good stir to combine and bring it to a rapid boil. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer – cook for 20 minutes without checking.
After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining pesto, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Check the seasoning and add more lemon juice if you think it needs it.
Transfer the pesto rice to a warmed serving bowl and scatter with shaved Parmesan (or not).
Note – if you’re curious about the nutritional value of Brazil nuts, click here.