Welcome to the Herb Diaries! 

I am a London based vinyasa and yin yoga teacher, obsessed with food and all things healthy. This is where I share my favourite recipes from my healthy plant-based kitchen. 

Serena x

Brown Rice Risotto with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Brown Rice Risotto with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Brown Rice Risotto with Sundried Tomato Pesto | The Herb Diaries

I have made it to beautiful Costa Rica. Anamaya, the yoga retreat where I will be living for the next 3 months, is based just outside a cute little town called Montezuma, which is hardly visible from the sea. When your boat approaches the land and you are close enough to see the tropical beaches, fringed with coconut palms, you can start to make out the colourful buildings among the trees. The town itself is very small, but I still have a lot of exploring to do, so soon enough I will be spamming you all with hundreds of exotic photos! Here is a quick recipe before that all begins.

This is a great option as people start to crave warmer, more filling meals as autumn draws closer and the days get shorter. I only came across brown risotto rice this summer and think it is really find. It definitely takes a bit longer to cook than it's white counterpart, but it is healthier, has so much more flavour and still creates a deliciously creamy risotto.

Brown Rice Risotto with Sundried Tomato Pesto | The Herb Diaries

Ingredients
Serves 4 people

For the risotto:
• 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 5 cups vegetable stock
• 1½ cups brown risotto rice
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (use 3 tbsp nutritional yeast if vegan)
• ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
• 2 teaspoons tamari
• Salt and pepper
2 red peppers
2 tomatoes
cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 tbsp sunflower seeds

For the red pesto:
1 cup cashew nuts
1 jar sundried tomatoes in oil
1 clove of garlic
Pepper
Juice of one lemon

Brown Rice Risotto with Sundried Tomato Pesto | The Herb Diaries
Brown Rice Risotto with Sundried Tomato Pesto | The Herb Diaries

Method
Preheat oven 190 degrees celsius.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened then add in the garlic. Cook for another 3 minutes, until the onions are browned.
Add 4 cups vegetable stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the rice. Cover the pot and bake for about 60 to 65 minutes. 
Roughly chop the tomatoes and red pepper, place in a baking tray with the vine tomatoes, drizzle everything with olive oil and add to the same oven as the risotto for 30 minutes.
Make the pesto by simply blending all ingredients, including the oil from the sundried tomatoes.
When the 60 minutes is up, remove risotto from the oven. Pour in the remaining cup of stock, wine, parmesan, tamari, roasted tomatoes and peppers, and salt and pepper. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. 
Divide into bowls and top with homemade red pesto, roasted cherry tomatoes, a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and a few shavings of parmesan.

Brown Rice Risotto with Sundried Tomato Pesto | The Herb Diaries
Costa Rica: September

Costa Rica: September

Maca Cashew Porridge with White Mulberries and Dried Figs

Maca Cashew Porridge with White Mulberries and Dried Figs