Citrus Kale Pesto Rice Bowl

A bowl filled with bright green kale pesto dressed rice, white feta cheese, red hot sauce, halved hard-boiled egg and white/pink radishes.

this citrus kale pesto rice bowl has a base of lemon-y goodness, rice and kale, but the garlic chili sauce (my hot sauce of choice), feta and radishes help round out the bowl, too!

la is always a good time. there’s a boundless bounty of rooftop bars to bounce between, an endless ensemble of eateries. knowledge of these delectables end up floating to me regardless of the fact that i’m no longer an hour drive away, and my list of places to try grows faster than i can keep up with. sqirl has been on my radar for years, but i finally got to experience the hype for myself this may during my most recent roadtrip down. (update 7/11/20: even though this bowl, and many of their other offerings are delicious, you may want to see this admittedly long instagram story about their business practices).

and wow. the hype lives on for a reason.

i’m not a big ricotta person, so ricotta toast sounds very unassuming and underwhelming. however, the reality of their ricotta is more like whipped cream than thick, clumpy lasagna cheese. a buttery/crispy/fluffy brioche ground topped with a positive rainbow of blackberry lemon, strawberry and raspberry jams peaking out beyond a super light whipped cream cloud? tastiest post-rain sky i’ve ever experienced.

A citrus kale pesto rice bowl, topped with crumbled feta, hardboiled eggs, hot sauce and radishes.

separate but equal (in the literal meaning, rather than the separate but not actually equal segregation that american society so wonderfully perpetuated in 100-200 years ago), the citrus kale pesto rice bowl. it’s briny and tart and spicy and creamy and crunchy and chewy, all the toppings and doo-dads making this the kind of bowl i’d happily pull out of the company fridge a few times a week for lunch. the bowl’s heroine is preserved lemon, the intensely bitter, salty, sour flavor mellowed by the cheese, rice, eggs and veggies.

this is a flexible bowl; kale instead of sorrel, hard-boiled instead of poached eggs, preserved kumquat instead of lemon, chili garlic sauce instead of sriracha. all work well. i also added a little garlic to the rice, made the bowl even more green with a bush of sauteed kale on top. happy fall!

1 year ago: chickpea curry bowls with carrots and cilantro sauce | paris 2018
2 years ago: rooster and rice (and 12 other restaurants i went to in sf) | oatmeal crisp cookies
3 years ago: corn and oyster mushroom zucchini pasta | miso pilaf with cucumber and grilled eggplant
4 years ago: holy shit toast | mediterranean quinoa salad
5 years ago: peanut butter chocolate chip waffles | tofu banh mi salad
6 years ago: choco-latte chip cookies | banana nut bread

5 from 2 votes
A citrus kale pesto rice bowl, topped with crumbled feta, hardboiled eggs, hot sauce and radishes.
SQIRL’s Citrus Kale Pesto Rice Bowl
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
This citrus kale pesto rice bowl has all sorts of goodies, including a lemon-y, garlicky kale pesto, hard-boiled eggs, radishes, feta and hot sauce.
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown rice, cheese, citrus, eggs, feta, green onions, hot sauce, kale, lemon, nut-free, preserved lemon, radishes, rice, rice bowl, scallions, sqirl, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 580 kcal
  • 2 cups short-grain brown rice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 bunch kale leaves ribs removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large watermelon radish or 2 red radishes very thinly sliced
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • ½ preserved lemon flesh removed, peel finely chopped
  • 1 T chopped fresh dill
  • 2 oz. feta crumbled
  • Hot sauce
  1. Cook rice in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 45–50 minutes. Drain rice, return to pot, cover, toss in the garlic and let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs and cover the pot. Boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the covered pot for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and run under cold water; peel the eggs and halve them.
  3. Purée kale, oil, and 1 T water in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat some oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining kale, a big pinch of salt, and saute until tender and wilted, 5-10 minutes.
  5. Toss radish with 1 T lemon juice in a small bowl; season with kosher salt.
  6. Toss rice, preserved lemon, dill, remaining lemon juice, and ⅓ cup kale purée in a medium bowl; season with kosher salt and pepper and mix in more kale purée, if desired.
  7. Serve rice topped with eggs, radish, feta and hot sauce.
Recipe Notes

From SQIRL in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA.

other fall lunch ideas besides this citrus kale pesto rice bowl

I love combining raw and cooked vegetables in my salads, and this barley kale salad with toasted coconut is no exception. #barley #kalesalad #coconut #salad

barley kale salad with toasted coconut

This shiitake dun dan (Asian steamed egg with mushrooms), is soft and silky, perfect with a heaping bowl of rice on the side. #mushrooms #dundan #steamedegg #vegetarian

shiitake dun dan (asian steamed egg)

Green rice topped with kale, radish slices, hard boiled egg halves, crumbled feta and a spoonful of hot sauce.

4 Replies to “Citrus Kale Pesto Rice Bowl”

  1. This looks wonderful! I am a huge fan of sambal oelek as well, especially the garlic version. Your eggs look really pretty!

  2. This salad definitely sounds like LA in a bowl hehehe. That egg looks perfect too 🙂

  3. For me, there’s nothing more inviting than a beautiful bowl of beautiful ingredients! I love this bowl, Heather and need to make it myself! The garlic chili sauce is the “icing” on the beautiful cake, too!5 stars

  4. Such a healthy, nutritious and flavor packed bowl!!! Loving the delicious colors, textures and the boiled egg to seal the deal!!!5 stars

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