Basmati w/ Pistachio Pesto & Peas

Hello wonderful people!  I hope your week is going well.  Mine is, especially since I'm currently watching one of my favorite shows while eating this rice and writing this post.

Basmati w/ Pistachio Pesto & Peas


I'm especially dandy since this hour is *even* more riveting than the usual drug-smugglin' episode. So....

Basmati w/ Pistachio Pesto & Peas
Basmati w/ Pistachio Pesto & Peas

This one is a cocaine case, in Mexico.  And involves:

-A cast to hide the drugs (original!)

-Prison romance (thank goodness that has its own show)

-Plan to escape.  Involving drag.

And the guy is telling this with the STRAIGHTEST face!

Basmati w/ Pistachio Pesto & Peas

Oh, National Geographic, if life is about the simple pleasures, you are simply providing them.

Carry on fine people, carry on.

INGREDIENTS: (makes 7 cups)

  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, small diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t. kosher salt (plus additional for blanching peas)
  • zest and juice of a lemon, (3 tbsp. lemon juice)
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  • ½ cup pistachio pesto
  • 1 ½ cups shucked peas, blanched and shocked (frozen peas can be substituted- if using, let thaw)

To make the pistachio pesto:

  • ¼ cup pistachio meats
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • ½ cup olive oil

-In a food processor, pulse the pistachios and parmesan until resembles a coarse meal.
-Add the basil and blend while slowly drizzling in olive oil until fully incorporated.

To blanch and shock the peas:

-Bring a large pot full of generously salted water to a boil.
-Have ready an ice water bath the stop the cooking of peas.
-Cook peas until bright green, about 45 seconds then shock in ice water.
-Drain and reserve.

To make the rice:

-Thoroughly rinse the basmati rice a few times, until water runs clear.tip1
-In a rondeautip2 (or a sauce pan with fitting lid), on medium heat add the olive oil and onion.
-Sweat out about 3 minutes until onions are translucent and light purple, mixing so to cook evenly. -Add garlic, turn burner to medium-low and sweat out another minute.tip3
-Add the rice and 1 t. salt, coating the rice in the oil and onion mixture, toasting for 2 minutes.tip4
-Add 1 2/3 cup of water to the rice and mix to evenly dispense the rice in water.
-Cover with a cartouchetip5 and a lid, and cook (over medium-low heat), about 17-20 minutes.
-Fluff rice with a fork and gently mix in lemon zest and juice, chopped pistachios, pistachio pesto and peas.tip6

My tips:

1.  Rinsing the rice removes some of the starch, avoiding gloppy rice.
2.  A rondeau is a pot, typically wide and shallow.  This helps with even cooking since the rice will have more exposure to the bottom of the pan.
3.  Add the garlic after sweating out the onion since it takes less time to cook.
4.  Toasting the rice kernels by cooking it in the hot oil is called “parching,” which helps to deepen flavor and create fluffy rice.
5.  A cartouche is a circular piece of parchment paper (with an air hole in the center) that covers the surface of the rice and helps to seal in steam, allowing for even cooking.
6.  Gently mix in the pesto with a rubber spatula since metal tends to break up the rice.