Before arriving in Los Angeles, I heavily researched the city in order to figure out what part of the city we’d live in. And by research I of course mean that I watched old episodes of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 and poured over the most recent Bon Appetit at the time that had a lovely spread about hipster hangout, “Sqirl” (so hipster, in fact, that the ‘u’, ‘r’, and ‘e’ are apparently not necessary). In the article, they mentioned a sorrel pesto bowl that is the restaurant’s number one seller. At the time I was absolutely not interested in trying a savory bowl of sorrel for breakfast. Why in the world would I want brown rice when I could have cinnamon rolls or sticky buns or brioche toast!?!? I mean, come on!!
So when we arrived in Los Angeles in the summer of 2014, my patient husband and even more patient daughter let me drag them to the Mecca of hipsterville, Silverlake, to stand in line with every other sucker and wait for breakfast. And let me tell you, it was one of the greatest culinary decisions I’ve ever made (and not only because within my first 24 hours in LA I got to see the high Jewess of the world, Natalie Portman, who was also eating at Sqirl). This meal was so. friggin’. YUMMY. I was feeling adventurous and also feeling that there was no way my husband was going to be up for shlepping all the way to Silverlake from the Westside again so I went ahead and passed by all the brioche options and ordered the brown rice pesto bowl. When our meal arrived, I looked at my husband’s brioche toast topped with chocolate ganache and thought, “I have made the greatest mistake in the world”. But then I took my first bite of the pesto bowl, all mixed in with lacto-fermented hot sauce (still have no idea what that means), feta cheese and a perfectly cooked poached egg and I knew I was forever changed. Let me tell you. Putting pesto in brown rice and topping with a poached egg, feta, radishes and hot sauce is THE GREATEST IDEA EVER. Therefore, I went ahead and copied it as much as possible. This has become my go-to Sunday morning breakfast ever since that fateful day in Silverlake.
Brown Rice Pesto Breakfast Bowls
Ingredients for Bowl:
Ingredients for Pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (can omit and use 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast to make it vegan)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 garlic cloves, minced
Cook brown rice according to package. Remember that brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook so make sure you plan according. Once done, transfer rice to a large mixing bowl and leave about 3 – 5 minutes.
For the pesto. If you want to be kind to yourself and your time, you can please feel free to buy pre-made pesto. If you want to make your own pesto, place the basil leaves and walnuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times. Add the garlic and cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor. Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.
For the poached egg: I learned how to poach an egg via The Kitchn’s tutorial so I’m sending you there for this recipe. Come back and read on when you’re done. 🙂
Once brown rice has somewhat cooled, add 1/2 cup of the pesto to your brown rice and combine. Top with 1 poached egg, feta, and sliced up radish. Serve hot.