1 large poblano pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded and stem discarded
1 jalapeño pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded and stem discarded
2 scallions, trimmed
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, gently packed, plus additional for garnish
Juice 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup long-grain brown rice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 lb frozen jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 count), deveined, tail on
1 small red onion, finely chopped, optional, for garnish
Lime wedges, optional
Set broiler. Place both peppers, skin side up, on a broiler pan with scallions. Broil until blistered, about 5 minutes. Remove poblano to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow poblano to steam for 10 minutes; remove skin.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine peppers and scallions; pulse until pureed. Add sunflower seeds; pulse to make a paste. Add cilantro, lime juice and oil; pulsing until cilantro is incorporated. Scrape bowl as needed. Remove pesto and reserve.
Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. Add rice and salt; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove rice from heat and allow to steam for 5 additional minutes, then use a fork to fluff. Add pesto to rice, a little at a time, and continue to toss gently with a fork until combined.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add shrimp, return to a boil, and cook until pink and lightly curled; about 3 minutes. Remove from heat with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, remove shells from shrimp.
Spoon rice onto large serving platter and place shrimp on top, garnish with additional cilantro. Serve with onion and lime wedges, if desired.
Adding beaten egg whites to these luscious cheesy grits increases their volume (so you'll feel like you're eating more!), yet gives them a light texture. And if zucchini's not in its prime, substitute any seasonal vegetables you love!
Black Forbidden rice gets its name from ancient China, where the dark-hued grain was banned from commoners and reserved strictly for royalty and nobility. Today, it can be found in local markets and ethnic grocery stores, and is commonly used in Thai cooking and is perfect in this black rice salad!