Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Tomato, and (Really) Fresh Basil

Okay. To preface, I hate raw tomatoes.  I guess hate is a strong word.  I strongly dislike them.  Which is strange, because I’m a vegan (and all vegans are supposed to love all vegetables at all times, right?), and also I am enamored with creamy tomato soup, ketchup on hash browns, etc.  I decided I would challenge myself with this easy dish and just muck em down with a smile.  It worked! I think I’m slowly on my way to enjoying pico de gallo and the occasional rogue raw tomatoes in sandwiches.

Anyways.  This recipe is from Alicia Silverstone, takes about 15 minutes to make, and is lovely, fresh, and filling.

  • 1 cup Arborio or quick-cook brown rice (I used the latter)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (~1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 c fresh tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the rice in a saucepan with 2.5 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain off the water not absorbed, and transfer the rice to a mixing bowl.

Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper (Alicia recommends that you start off putting only a tiny bit of salt/pepper in at first.  I recommend the same thing.   We’re like the same person).  Mix well.  Add the tomatoes, and sprinkle with basil.  Toss to combine and serve.

I was very fortunate to have literally garden-fresh basil.  I have a mini garden growing in my backyard right by my trampoline, and am growing lots of herbs (e.g., cilantro, basil, rosemary) and veggies (e.g., tomatoes, beans, beets, squash, cabbage), and even some raspberries and blackberries!  It is gorgeous and blooming and makes me really happy to see every morning.  And it was so nice to be able to mosey over to my backyard to clip off some basil.

If you can, you really should grow even just a windowsill garden.  It will bring you joy and food (which are pretty much the same thing).

Ready for my closeup:

We enjoyed our rice with grill-roasted peppers, and lettuce with a light dressing.  Mmmm.


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