Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Roast Anything with Anything Pesto

November 23, 2017 by General Administrator

Roasted vegetables dotted with cheerful, green pesto. Delicious for a mid-week dinner. It’s nice served with brown rice, or any other grain you might have lying about, but it’s good on its own as well. I suspect it would be tasty tossed onto pasta.

Roasted Anything with Anything Pesto

Serves 2

Ingredients

Roast Vegetables

A mixture of root vegetables and/or pumpkin. For two people one of those little Canalside squashes, 2 medium potatoes, and 4 large carrots would be fine, for instance.
shell of a squeezed-out lemon, if you happen to keep such things around.
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt and pepper to taste
Any twigs of thyme or rosemary that you happen to have to hand
1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled

Anything Pesto

1 handful of packaged pumpkin or melon seeds, or pine nuts, or almonds, or a mixture. I think you could add sunflower seeds, as well.
1 bunch of any fresh herbs. A mixture is fine and the quantity isn’t crucial. I used a blend of parsley and a little dill.
any feathery carrot tops
Olive oil
1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

Optional Toppings

Capers
hard cheese, grated or chopped into little cubes
Home-made roasted squash seeds (see below)
Yoghurt

Preparation

For the Roast Vegetables

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Scrub the root vegetables and peel them if you prefer them unpeeled. Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Ditto the squash or pumpkin, if you are using it. After you cut it open remove the seeds and set them aside for use in the pesto.

Place all the vegetables in a roasting tin and toss them together with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Slice the lemon shell into thin shreds and add this to the tray. Scatter any thyme or rosemary over the top. Place the unpeeled whole head of garlic in the tray as well.

Put the tray in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender when you poke them with a fork. Toss them periodically so that they roast evenly.

For the Squash or Pumpkin Seed Garnish (if used)

Once you’ve put the vegetables in the oven you can prepare the fresh pumpkin seeds. Wash them carefully and pick out the seeds from the tangle of pumpkin fibres. Place the cleaned seeds on a baking tray and put them in the oven as well. Roast them for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They should begin to turn golden. At that point take the tray out of the oven and toss the seeds with a little more olive oil and salt. Put them back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. They should now be crisp and toasted. Set them aside to cool. Nibble a few while you prepare the pesto.

For the Nuts or Seeds for the Pesto

Place the nuts or packaged seeds on a baking tray and put them in the oven to toast. Check them after about 3 minutes as pine nuts in particular burn easily. Once they start to turn golden remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.

For the Anything Pesto

Blend the herbs and carrot tops (should you have any) in a hand-held blender, or, if you are feeling energetic, pound them a bit at a time in a mortar and pestle.

Add about the toasted nuts/seeds, and blend/pound some more to make a thick, herby paste.

Find the roasted head of garlic and squeeze out the now-tender garlic from each clove. Add this to the pesto and blend. Thin the pesto with olive oil until it reaches the consistency you like.

Grate in the zest of the lemon. Juice the lemon and add some juice to the pesto, along with some salt and pepper. Add a pinch of pepper flakes if you like.

Now taste it: does it need more lemon juice? More salt? More oil? Adjust the flavours and consistency until you are pleased with the result.

To Serve

Arrange the roasted vegetables on a platter. Dot or pour the pesto over the top and garnish as desired with capers, cheese, or your home-made roasted pumpkin seeds. Serve, if you like, with a bowl of salted yoghurt on the side.

You can serve this together with rice or another grain if you like. Perhaps you have some leftover rice in the freezer?

(Recipe adapted from Anna Jones, The Guardian.)

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