17 Mar Chunky Roasted Veggies with Pesto
We all have those days when anything beyond just laying around on the couch seems like asking too much. Sometimes it feels like every Saturday turns into one of those days, and sometimes a few months will go by without one.. But when they do happen, I let myself lean into the laziness and take the day off from life. Sometimes we just need a full break. Those days I snack on what’s in the cupboard, take lots of naps, and try to catchup on the pile of magazines that I slowly try to hoard.
But then there are the other lazy days. The days when you’re just a little less motivated to tackle your to-do list and you’re feeling a bit sluggish. I find those days to be the hardest. I can’t fully let myself take the day off, because I’m not *that* tired. I can still find a bit of motivation, but just not much. It’s these days that I look for short cuts and lazy recipes.
This is a lazy recipe. It’s for those days when cutting up vegetables seems like a lot of work but you still really want to eat healthy. It’s pretty simple, just chop up whatever vegetables you have into large chunks and then roast in the oven. The pesto is easy too. I like to blend up whatever herbs I have slowly wilting away in my fridge from a previous recipe. I love this recipe because it’s easy to turn into big batches. I’ll pack some for my lunches for work, and also add a couple scoops to my salads during the week.
Pesto Roasted Veggies
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 long Asian eggplants, or one globe Italian eggplant
- 1 red pepper
- 2 green zucchini (approximately 1 lb)
- 1 lemon, juiced or 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch basil (or two cups fresh basil leaves)
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley (approximately 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, pepitas
- 3 cups arugula (approximately two large handfuls)
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Set your oven to 400F and arrange the racks so they are staggered in the middle.
- Wash all the vegetables and pat them dry. Start with the sweet potato, and chop into large 1.5 inch chunks. I like to keep the skins on for this recipe, it helps keep the flesh from going mushy, but peel them if you're not a fan of skins.
- Pile the sweet potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet and heavily drizzle with EVOO. Toss with your hands, making sure each golden chunk is coated. Spread them out, and pop into the oven. Cook fro 20-25 minutes, or until they can pierced with a fork without much struggle. I like to cook these a big "al dente" for this recipe, don't let them go mushy!
- Once you have the sweet potato in the oven, start on the eggplant. Chop the egg plant into 1 inch cubes, a bit smaller than the sweet potatoes. Again, toss in EVOO on a rimmed baking sheet. Eggplant is like a sponge when it comes to oil, so don't fret if they seem dry. They will release moisture in the oven and it'll be ok. Cook these for 15 minutes, or until soft.
- Ok, onto the red pepper! Slice the red pepper removing the stem and seeds (discard those). I sliced my red pepper into rough shapes, going about 1-2inches for each square. Give the same treatment of EVOO. And you may need to wait until the sweet potato or eggplant is done cooking before sliding into the oven. Once they are in there, keep an eye on them since they will be done in around 10 minutes. It's ok if they get a bit crisped up!
- Finally, slice the zucchini into large chunks similar to the eggplant. Toss in EVOO and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft.
- While your veggies are cooking you start on the pesto. Combine the lemon juice, salt, basil, pumpkin seeds, parsley and arugula into a blender or food processor. Give everything a good whirl for several beats, and scrap down the sides. Then blend again and while it's running, slowly pour the oil in. Blend until smooth.
- Combine the roasted veggies with the pesto and serve hot or cold. Can be reheated for meals during the week.