I haven’t posted a recipe in a really long time so I was really looking forward to making something new and summery to kick start my blog again. As my studying is winding down, I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut, unsure of what to buy, where to start and what to cook. I haven’t even been reaching for food inspiration in the form of my favourite recipe books or collections of magazine articles. I really hate feeling like I can’t be bothered to cook, I end up developing bad eating habits and losing out on one of my favourite things to do. Luckily the River Cottage herby pesto (paired with pasta, new potatoes, and green beans) inspired me to make my summery version of this delicious pesto- my version is dairy free too! I’ve used some of my favourites, cherry tomatoes and peppers alongside some delicious jersey royals but you can use whatever veg there is to use up in your fridge for this recipe, courgettes and green beans would also work well. I love the lime in this pesto, which was actually and accidental find as I discovered I didn’t have any lemons left for this recipe, I think they make the whole dish a little bit fresher. Perhaps this tasty lunch, side dish or great accompaniment to a barbecue can be enjoyed in the sunshine and rescue some of you from potential food ruts too!
200g jersey royal potatoes
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 a red pepper, sliced
1/2 a yellow pepper, sliced
a handful of fresh parsley (around 7g)
a handful of fresh basil (around 7g)
a few mint leaves
juice of 1 lime
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded
1 clove of garlic
100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking
salt and pepper
First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees and set out a baking tray for your vegetables. Wash the potatoes and remove any earthy bits then slice in half and spread on the tray. Drizzle over a little tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 15 minutes then add the cherry tomatoes and peppers, toss in the oil on the tray and add a little more salt, roast for another 15 minutes until the tomatoes are a little caramelised, the potatoes are soft all the way through and the peppers are starting to wilt, but still have a little bite.
While the veg is cooking, you can prepare the pesto dressing. I’ve been lucky enough to be given our brilliant old food processor from home (greatly missed by my mum) so I use this to make the pesto and it’s really effective. However, you can use a pestle and mortar if you’re prepared to put in a little elbow grease, or use a stick blender or an ordinary smoothie making type blender to make the pesto too. Just be sure to wash it out really thoroughly, nobody wants an oily smoothie! Add the herbs, garlic clove, chilli, olive oil, lime juice and walnuts to your processor/blender and blend away until all the ingredients are chopped very finely and the mixture starts to resemble a pesto-ey texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Take the veg out of the oven and spoon into a large mixing bowl. Add about half of the pesto dressing, I like to use the other half with pasta, on green salads and on pizza! Mix together in the bowl, making sure all the veg is coated, and serve. I like to squeeze over some fresh lime and sprinkle over a few fresh chopped herbs too. Let me know what you think about this recipe, and enjoy!