Today we’re talking about rainbow bowls made with sea asparagus pesto, and we know before you even get to the word pesto, you’re thinking, “Did you just say ‘sea asparagus’?!?!”
That’s right – we did. To be clear, it’s not true asparagus but rather an herb, officially called salicornia, that grows in salt marshes and beaches. (You might also see it called beach asparagus, pickleweed, or sea beans). The taste is crunchy and salty, given that it grows near the beach. Some would even call the flavor briny. But we love it because it’s basically a vegetable … from the sea.
What is Sea Asparagus Pesto?
You might not have immediate access to your own sea asparagus – but that’s OK! We recently learned about a company in Alaska called Foraged & Found that creates products made with superfood kelp and sea asparagus. Specifically, we learned about their specialty pesto and we knew we had to try it. This pesto contains sea asparagus, extra virgin olive oil, basil, lemon juice, almonds, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and pepper. (Probably no added salt because it’s already salty.)
The taste is light, fresh, and lemon-y. Of course it doesn’t have the exact flavor profile as traditional pesto made from basil. However, it does have an extra “zing” of seaside freshness.
This antioxidant-rich (and non-GMO) pesto also contains 10% of the recommended daily value of calcium (90 mg) per serving, so that’s pretty impressive too.
After we tried it, we were inspired to make these Rainbow Bowls with Sea Asparagus Pesto. In fact, we started calling these Land to Sea bowls because we’ve got the best of both land and sea in here.
Rainbow Bowls with Sea Asparagus Pesto Recipe
Rainbow Bowls with Sea Asparagus Pesto
These roasted vegetables join brown rice and sea asparagus to create a "rainbow bowl" from land to sea.
- 1/2 head yellow cauliflower
- 1/2 small butternut squash
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/2 large red onion
- 6 stalks broccolini
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 4-ounce jar Foraged & Found Sea Asparagus Pesto
- Additional olive oil, salt, and pepper to garnish, as desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the vegetables: Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel, seed, and cut the butternut squash into cubes. Peel the carrots and cut into 1-inch thick diagonal slices. Core and seed the pepper and cut it into strips. Peel the onion and cut it into large wedges. Chop the broccolini into bite-sized florets. Spread the vegetables out onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown.
Meanwhile, take the cooked (warm) rice and mix with approximately 2 tablespoons of the sea asparagus pesto. Divide the rice, 1/2 cup per bowl, among four bowls.
Divide the vegetables evenly among the bowls and then top each bowl with a dollop of pesto, using the remaining pesto from the jar. Garnish with additional olive oil, salt, or pepper as desired. Serve immediately.
Rainbow Bowl Options
The beauty of these rainbow bowls is that you can swap in or out your favorite vegetables.
For example, root vegetables such as parsnips would make a pretty and tasty addition for fall. You can also swap out the brown rice for your favorite grain. Use couscous, for example, or quinoa, depending on your personal taste. Also, for many of these options you could even serve the bowl at room temperature and treat it as more of a salad-with-grains.
If you really want to change it up (and we’ve taken this route too), swap out the grains altogether for colorful red, white, or blue baby potatoes. You can serve up the whole mixture as a side dish or side platter to your favorite main course.
(Note that this item is vegetarian, not vegan, because the pesto contains cheese.)
If you try it, let us know! And if you like it, pin it!
P.P.S. Looking for another “different” pesto? Try our Roasted Carrots with Walnut-Arugula Pesto.
Blogger disclosure: Foraged & Found sent us pesto samples to try. We did not receive compensation for this post, and we only write about products we love. This post contains links to our Amazon affiliate account. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase a product through these links, a small commission comes back to Jolly Tomato at no cost to you. Thank you for your support of Jolly Tomato.