Brown Rice Risotto with Homemade Red Pesto

This recipe takes a little longer than some, but is much easier than your average risotto as there is no need to stand stirring it for hours. Simply prep the ingredients and pop in the oven, then you are free for a long post-run bath before dinner is ready.

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Ingredients: (Serves 4)

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
• 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 • Juice of one lemon

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Method:
1) Preheat oven 190 degrees celsius.
2)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.
3)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.
4) 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.
5) Divide into bowls and top with homemade red pesto, roasted cherry tomatoes, a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and a few shavings of parmesan.

Recipe from Serena @ www.theherbdiaries.com