Pesto Wild Rice with Fava Beans and Kale


Like most people, I first stir-fried grains with classic Chinese fried rice. Then I realized I could expand to other types of rice and, heck, even other grains! Flavors can be anything from Indian to Italian to ... whatever you want. But let’s just leave it on Italian for now. Fava beans often come frozen because they taste best that way. Just thaw them first. But don’t worry if you forget—this recipe will just take a little longer to cook.


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound (455 g) purple kale, rough stems removed, torn into large pieces
  • 4 cups (720 g) cooked and cooled wild rice
  • 1 cup Pesto
  • ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable broth, plus more, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (300 g) cooked fava beans
  • ½ cup (60 g) chopped walnuts Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed pan (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat. Cook the garlic in the olive oil for about a minute. Add the kale and toss to wilt it, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and toss to heat through, about 2 more minutes. Mix in the pesto, vegetable broth, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Let heat through for a minute.
  3. Add the fava beans and toss to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the kale is nicely cooked down and velvety but not mushy. Taste for salt and seasoning. Serve garnished with walnuts and basil.