Brown Rice “Risotto” with Asparagus & Cilantro-Basil Hemp Seed Pesto {Vegan, GF}

May 18, 2015
Serves 2-4 People. 2 as main, 4 as side.
Prep time
Cook Time


  • 2 Cups
    brown rice, water as needed to cook according to package
  • 1/4 Cup
    olive oil
  • 1/2
    small onion, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup
  • 2
    garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 Cup
    white wine
  • 1
    bunch of asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch sticks
  • 1/2 Cup
    veggie broth
  • zest
    of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 Cups
    full-fat coconut milk, canned
  • 2 Tablespoons
    fresh parsley, chopped
  • Cilantro-Basil-Parsley Hemp Seed Pesto
  • 1 Cup
    fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup
    cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 Cups
    fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup
    oilve oil, + more for drizzling
  • 1 Tablespoon
    lemon juice
  • 1
    garlic clove
  • 1/2 Cup
    hemp seeds
  • 1/4 Cup
    nutritional yeast (as needed, to taste)
  • pinch
    crushed read pepper to taste
  • pinch
    pink salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cilantro-Basil-Parsley Hemp Seed Pesto
    In a food processor combine the fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic and pulse until fine consistency is reach. Then transfer to a bowl and mix in the remianing ingredients by hand.

    Taste it an adjust. I like to use only a small amount of nutritional yeast, too much and I think it over powers the other flavors, but start with a little and add as you go until you are happy with how it tastes. You can use real parmesan cheese if your prefer.

  2. Risotto
    Cook the rice according to the packages directions. You want 4 cups cooked rice. While the rice is cooking, add the oil to a large high sided skillet over low heat and carmelize the onions. This takes time, and you have to continue to stir the onions so they do not burn. Low and slow is the key to carmelized onions.

    Fluff the rice with a fork, add it and the garlic to the pan with the onions. Season with salt and peper and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium.

    Slowly add the white wine to the pan and stir constantly until the liquid is absobed into the rice or evaporated. Stir in the asparagus then slowly pour in the coconut milk and veggie broth. Cook until the asparagus are tender and the risotto is creamy. 5-7 minutes stirring every minute or so.

    Remove from the hear and add the lemon zest, parsley and a drizzel of olive oil.

    Stirr in the pesto and divide up amongst plates or bowls.

    *** This recipe taste even better the longer the flavors have time to combine and mend making it the perfect recipe to make ahead of time and reheat, or to make a large batch as part of a meal prep for the next coming days.