(Updated with better photos, February 2014) This ultra-easy recipe for Lemon Pesto Rice is a great side dish any time you have a few tablespoons of leftover pesto in the fridge. I made this on Saturday night when my niece Alyson, her fiance Nick, and their friend Rachel came for what we call a "cooking lesson." The truth is that all three of them are pretty good cooks, but it's been fun teaching them some techniques they might be hesitant to try on their own. We completely devoured this rice, which I think is the perfect side dish for anything that goes with the flavors of basil and lemon, so if you want leftovers I'd recommend you double the recipe!
I used my favorite Uncle Ben's Converted Rice, which is one of the lowest-glycemic types of rice. (If you're eating this for South Beach phase two, be sure not to buy the "instant" type; you want the converted rice that says "original" on the package.) For the pesto I used some of my Basil Pesto with Lemon that I had in the freezer. We ate with with Baked Pesto Chicken, another super-easy recipe that went well with the rice.
Heat olive oil, then add the rice and cook until rice is starting to get lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and lemon juice.
Then add the chicken stock and let the mixture come to a boil. Once it is barely boiling, lower heat to medium low, cover the pan and let the rice cook for 20 minutes without lifting lid.
(Makes 4 servings but can easily be doubled, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi.)
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup Uncle Ben's Converted Rice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I use my frozen lemon juice)
2 1/4 cup chicken stock (I used a can of chicken broth with some added water)
2-3 T basil pesto (I used my Basil Pesto with Lemon from the freezer)
Heat olive oil in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid; then add the rice and saute until rice is light browned, about 2-3 minutes, stirring several times. Add the salt and lemon juice and stir again (the lemon juice will bubble up in the pan.)
Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, turn down the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let it cook without lifting the lid for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the pesto, put the lid back on and let the rice sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Leftover rice can be reheated in the microwave or frozen, but you probably won't have any leftovers unless you double the recipe!
South Beach Suggestions:
Using low-glycemic Uncle Ben's Converted Rice makes this a great side dish for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. We loved this as a side with Baked Pesto Chicken, but I think it would also taste great with Grilled Zucchini and Sausage Kabobs, Parmesan Chicken, Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu, or Spice Rubbed and Roasted Fish Filets.More Rice Dishes You Might Like:
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Mujadarra (Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lake Powell Spicy Rice from Kalyn's Kitchen
Easy Black Beans and Rice from Simply Recipes
How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice from Pinch My Salt
Pinon Rice Bake with Artichokes and Goat Cheese from Gluten-Free Goddess
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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