Brown rice tomato risotto with grilled zucchini and rocket pesto

brown rice

Brown rice tomato risotto with grilled zucchini and rocket pesto  

This delicious brown rice tomato risotto recipe serves: 4

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Risotto

1 ½ cups brown rice

2 punnets cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 cups pumpkin, cut into small cubes

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3-4 cups vegetable stock

1 small bunch parsley, chopped

3 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

Pesto

1 cup rocket leaves, washed and dried

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

100 g. cashew nuts, chopped

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese/ savoury yeast flakes for vegan option

1 lemon, juiced

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 garlic clove, crushed

Salt and pepper, to taste

Topping

2 large zucchinis, finely shaved lengthways

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Method

To make the pesto, blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 180C, and on a baking tray lay cherry tomatoes and pumpkin in one layer, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake until well roasted. Remove pumpkin from the tray and toss tomato into a food processer, blitzing into a soup-like texture.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil, add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, add garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add brown rice to the pan and stir well. Add tomato puree, stock, pumpkin and half the parsley, combine well. Cover with a lid or transfer to an oven-proof dish; place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Pre-heat chargrill, toss zucchini with olive oil and chargrill until soft. Spoon risotto into bowls, then top with pesto and grilled zucchini.

A note on brown rice

The nutritional benefits of brown rice are often underestimated. Many of us are unaware that brown rice is a source of the amino acid glutamine, a chemical vital to building GABA, the neurotransmitter responsible for restoring calm in the brain.

Brown rice is minimally processed and a good source of fibre and protein, making it ideal for digestion and for sustaining hunger for longer periods. As brown rice is a complex carb, it releases energy slowly making it the body’s preferred source of fuel.

For more delicious recipes, see the author’s website: www.zoebingleypullin.com