Lemon peel and juice add a subtle tang to the delicate flavor of jasmine rice. You can find jasmine rice and basil oil in larger grocery, health food and gourmet stores, as well as in Asian and Indian grocery stores.
In a medium saucepan bring water to boiling. Stir in uncooked jasmine rice. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook desired vegetables (except cherry tomatoes, if using) and red onion in a small amount of lightly salted boiling water, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Cover and keep warm.
In a medium saucepan stir together cornstarch, lemon peel, lemon juice, and black pepper. Stir in chicken broth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Add cooked vegetables and cherry tomatoes, if using. Toss very gently to combine.
Toss rice with shredded basil and oil. Divide rice among six individual serving bowls; make an indentation in center of each. Mound vegetable mixture into centers. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Garnish with purple basil blossoms, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 6 side-dish servings.