Always on the lookout for exciting vegetarian recipes for Sam, I came upon one called green goddess rice by Claire Robinson. Cooked rice is tossed with a paste made with avocado, basil, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. That’s practically avocado and pesto. I already had pesto in the fridge so I asked Speedy to buy one ripe avocado so we could test the recipe before cooking it for Sam. And I will be cooking it for Sam because the avocado and pesto rice is good. Creamy, tasty, aromatic, tangy… It has so much that it can be enjoyed by itself.
To make avocado and pesto rice, you only need rice and pesto. However, to get the flavors right, you may have to make some adjustments with the seasonings so it’s a good idea to have some lemon juice, salt and pepper on the side.
There is no special procedure for cooking the rice except to add a pinch of salt. And it is important to cook the rice with the least amount of water possible so that the grains are cooked through but not too soft. You are going to mix it with the avocado paste and too-soft grains will get too mushy and that’s not a good thing. Basmati is ideal but it is rather pricey. If you want something more cost-effective, just choose other long-grain rice variety and make sure not to add too much water during cooking. When the rice is done, fluff it up with a fork to separate the grains before they cool (rice grains get stuck to one another as they cool).
For the avocado paste, mash one small ripe avocado until creamy. Stir in 1/4 cup of pesto. Taste. You will probably need to adjust the seasonings by adding lemon juice, salt or pepper, or all of them.
Add two to three cups of the fluffed rice to the avocado paste and stir lightly with a fork. Taste once more and adjust the seasonings a final time. Serve topped with snipped cilantro, if you like, but that’s really optional.
If you want a similar dish with pasta instead of rice, see the pasta with avocado sauce recipe.