Vegetarian Ragu with Cilantro Pesto

Vegetarian Ragu with Cilantro Pesto
Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 10 servings


2tablespoons tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 (12-ounce) package mushrooms, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
1cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
1 1/2tablespoons chili powder
2tablespoons tomato paste
1teaspoon ground cumin
3/4teaspoon dried oregano
1teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
2cups water
5cups hot cooked brown rice
Cilantro Pesto:
1/4cup chopped walnuts
1 1/3cups chopped cilantro
1 1/3cups flat-leaf parsley
1/4cup extra-virgin olive oil
2tablespoons lime juice
1/4cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground black pepper


  1. To prepare ragu, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper; cook until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic. Add remaining ingredients (except rice). Stir well. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; simmer 35 mintues, or until potatoes are tender.
  2. To prepare pesto, place walnuts in food processor and finely chop. Add cilantro and parsley; pulse to coarsely chop. With motor running, add oil and lime juice. Add cheese, salt and pepper; process until blended.
  3. Serve in soup plates over rice and top with pesto.

—Recipe by Jean Kressy

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 350
  • Fat 13g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 970mg
  • Carbohydrate 50g
  • Fiber 0g
  • Protein 11g