Unlike Asian-style fried rice which requires day-old rice (rice that has dried out), you can make this pesto rice with newly cooked rice. The rice need not go into the pan, you see. The only thing you cook here is the garlic.
But can day-old rice also be cooked as pesto rice? Yes, actually, but you have to modify the procedure by cooking the dish pretty much the way you’d make fried rice. Brown the garlic in oil and, without turning off the heat, add the rice and toss until heated through. Transfer the rice to a bowl and toss in the pesto off the heat. Garnish with lemon wedges and sliced mint leaves.
So, there. Whether your rice just came out of the rice cooker or had sat in the fridge overnight, you can turn it into pesto rice and serve it as a side dish.
- Set a small frying pan on the stove and turn the heat on medium-low.
- Pour the olive oil into the frying pan. Swirl the pan the coat the entire bottom.
- Spread the chopped garlic on the hot oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
- Put the rice in a bowl.
- Drizzle in the oil with all the browned garlic.
- Stir to coat each grain of rice with the flavorful oil.
- Add the pesto and toss the rice until evenly colored.
- Top the rice with lime or lemon wedges and sliced mint leaves.