Chard Rice With Pesto & Pomegranate Syrup

This is a rich, yet simple dish to prepare.  The colours are vibrant, and the taste sublime.  I bought some lovely looking chard, and decided to get adventurous.  This is a nutritious, and almost festive, way of enjoying healthy ingredients that come together with vibrant tones, subtle flavours, and a wonderful delicate aroma.  Topped with a simple yet unique leek pesto, this is a mouthwatering delight to enjoy anytime in spring or summer.

Serves 3 to 4

INGREDIENTS FOR CREAMY PESTO & LEEK TOPPING

1 cup of presoaked unroasted cashews

around 30 large basil leaves

1 clove garlic

1 tsp nutritional yeast (available in the US from here, and in the UK from here)

salt to taste

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 leek, chopped

 

INGREDIENTS FOR CHARD RICE

1 cup short grain brown rice (pre-boiled, and drained)

3 cups fresh chard, chopped and steamed (don’t over-steam it so that it retains its colour)

1 clove fresh garlic

1 tsp flaxseeds

salt to taste

FINAL TOUCHES FOR GARNISHING

1 fresh pomegranate

1 tsp raw sesame seeds

a little pomegranate molasses syrup (available in the US from here, and in the UK from here)

METHOD FOR THE PESTO TOPPING

  1. First, make the creamy pesto.  Wash and drain the cashews, then process in a high speed blender with ½ a cup of water, until your mixture resembles fresh cream, and set aside in a cup.
  2. Meanwhile, fry your leek slices until they have wilted, and set aside.
  3. Place the basil, garlic, and the rest of the ingredients, into your food processor, and process until smooth, and then taste for salt.
  4. Next, add your fried leeks to the other ingredients in your processor, and pulse briefly – but not long enough for the mixture to become liquid.  Now add your processed cashew cream, and process for a few seconds.  Place this mixture in a small saucepan in readiness to heat and pour over the rice.
  5. Now make your rice dish.

METHOD FOR THE CHARD RICE

  1. First, boil your rice, and steam the chard until it softens.
  2. Now process the garlic in your food processor until well processed, add in your steamed chard, and process until chopped. Add in the remaining ingredients, process for a few seconds, then add the rice and pulse for 3 to 4 seconds only, so that everything is blended, but the rice should remain as intact as possible.
  3. Heat up your pesto sauce, and spoon your rice into individual ramekin dishes, and turn then upside down, one at a time, in the centre of each dinner plate (you may wish to preheat these.  Gently pour pesto sauce over the top of the rice, garnish with fresh pomegranate, and then drizzle on the pomegranate molasses syrup.
  4. Enjoy with some dry white sparkling wine.

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All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell mouthwateringvegan.com 2010

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