Cilantro-pistachio pesto pesto, rice and beans

Janet and I took a Mediterranean cooking class from Olaiya Land at our local natural foods store last week. It was a very tasty experience. One of the recipes we tried repeating today was the Cilantro-Pistachio pesto, only instead of using it as a marinade/topping for chicken thighs, we mixed it with beans and rice, which worked really well and was pretty simple. The recipe:

Cilantro-Pistachio pesto (serves four)

1C roasted pistachios
2C (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
4T fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled
2/3C olive oil
3/4t Kosher salt
1C brown rice
2 cans black beans

  1. Start the brown rice – 1C brown rice + 2 1/4C water in a pot. Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat to simmer for 1/2 hour until the water is absorbed.
  2. Open the cans of black beans. I don’t like the black, syrupy bean goo, so I tend to rinse them out for a few minutes. With a tiny bit of water, put them in a pot to warm up.
  3. While that’s going on, in a food processor, add the pistachios, cilantro leaves, lemon juice, garlic clove and Kosher salt. Pulsate until a coarse paste forms.
  4. With the food processor running, gradually add the olive oil.
  5. Serve! We found mixing a heaping tablespoon of the pesto with a serving of rice and beans is awesome. You can freeze the leftover pesto for another time, or to use as a marinade.

The next recipe I’d like to try is the fennel ice cream on peaches. Why? Because:

Fennel ice cream on peaches

is why.

Last night we saw Jet City Improv do their Improvisational Shakespeare, with audience participation. One of the throwaway characters was named Strongtonio, which I thought was The Best Name Ever. As I was typing Pistachio, I kept snickering about it being a minor character from Shakespeare’s lost tragicomedy, The Croutons of Denmark. Nevermind.