You’ve likley been told countless times that when it comes to carbs, whole grains are healthiest. But let’s face it: whether it’s quinoa, rice, millet, they’re not very exciting on their own. Have no fear, because this recipe will make you fall in love with brown rice all over again. This combination of fresh flavours from wholesome foods like tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, and balsamic vinegar tastes great hot or cold.

Serves 2

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (chicken or fish stock work too)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
  • 3/4 cup zucchini, diced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon packed minced parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon packed shredded basil, plus additional leaves to garnish
  • 16 small scallops (vegetarians could substitute tofu or tempeh)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper

What to Do:

  1. In a pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the rice and cover, cooking according to package directions. This should take between 35 and 45 minutes. Check the pot every so often to ensure it isn't getting to dry, and if it is, add a little extra water.
  2. While the rice cooks, chop the tomatoes and zucchini. Place the scallops in a bowl with the white balsamic vinegar and allow them to sit for about 20 minutes.
  3. When rice is nearly finished, pour the olive oil into a frying pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the scallops with about 2 tbsp of their marinating liquid and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until completely opaque and light golden on the outside. Most liquid should have evaporated.
  4. Remove the scallops from the pan and set aside — do not clean the pan quite yet. While the pan's still hot, add the tomatoes, zucchini, pine nuts, and 1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar. Cook until they become warm, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan as you go.
  5. Drain any remaining liquid from the rice and stir in the parsley and basil.
  6. Add the rice mixture to the tomato mixture in the pan. Sautee on high heat for three minutes, adding sea salt and black pepper to taste. Remove from the stove and divide evenly between plates.
  7. Top with scallops and garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Serve immediately.
Greatist Cookbook