Pesto Brown Rice Bowl with Quick-Pickled Radishes

April  3, 2019
6 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

A grain bowl is the perfect meal solution, giving you a little bit of everything (salty and creamy and crunchy and acidic) all in one dish. Mixing pesto into the base of the rice is a perfect way to add flavor; it makes this bowl so much more than the sum of its parts. The recipe is easy to customize by adding extra protein or swapping in toppings you have on hand. Don’t skip the creamy sauce—it’s good on everything! —Posie (Harwood) Brien

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is featured in the story A Make-Ahead Rice Bowl With 2 Little Secrets for Big Flavor, sponsored by Filippo Berio. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the rice bowl:
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 10 medium watermelon radishes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, halved and sliced
  • 4 soft-boiled eggs (optional)
  • 2 cups watercress
  • For the creamy sauce:
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. To make the rice: Add the rice, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 40 minutes (until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed). Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and set aside until ready to assemble the bowls.
  2. To make the pickled radishes: Whisk together the vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the sliced radishes and stir. Let the radishes soak for at least 20 minutes (any extras will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks).
  3. To make the sauce: Drain and rinse the white beans. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until thick and smooth.
  4. To assemble the bowls: Combine the cooked rice with the pesto and stir to coat evenly. Divide the pesto rice evenly between four bowls.
  5. Divide the watercress evenly between the bowls. Top each bowl with half of a sliced avocado, some of the pickled radishes (use an amount to taste, you may end up with extra), and a soft-boiled egg (if using). Drizzle or dollop as much of the creamy sauce over the top as you like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lisa F
    Lisa F
  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Ann French
    Ann French
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien

5 Reviews

mary May 2, 2022
How long will sauce/ dressing keep?
Lisa F. November 22, 2021
Really delicious! Will make this again!
Taylor S. May 2, 2019
This is really great! I've been eating this for lunch every day this week on a bed of arugula + kale with some scallions + basil tossed in. I made a pesto with basil, arugula, pine nuts, pecans, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Will be making this over and over for sure!
Ann F. April 26, 2019
Where is the pesto?
Posie (. April 26, 2019
It gets mixed in with the cooked rice in step 4!