Grilled vegetables with carrot leaf pesto is a beautiful accompaniment to the baked leek and saffron risotto. You’ve probably realised by now that I’m fan of green sauces, having included several versions in previous blog posts. I particularly like to use parts of vegetables that would otherwise be discarded, such as the leaves of baby carrots. You can easily make the pesto a day or two ahead, and the grilled vegetables take only a few minutes to prepare. The pesto also goes beautifully with roasted vegetables, such as carrots and parsnips. But, as asparagus is in season, and plentiful at my local market https://www.farmerandson.com.au this is a good opportunity to use them!
If you’re not catering for vegetarians, the grilled vegetables make an excellent side dish for meat, chicken or fish. Toss them through spaghetti, or serve them cold with with cooked quinoa or barley stirred through. I’d say it’s a pretty versatile dish to have up your sleeve!
Here’s the link to the baked leek and saffron risotto: https://atamandastable.com.au/baked-leek-and-and-saffron-risotto/
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Grilled vegetables with carrot leaf pesto
- 1 bunch asparagus, washed and woody ends snapped off
- 1 bunch broccolini, washed and ends trimmed
- 1 large zucchini, washed ends trimmed and sliced lengthwise
- olive oil, to drizzle on top
- flaked sea salt
Carrot leaf pesto
- 2 cups carrot leaves (the rough amount from 1 bunch of baby carrots) substitute with rocket, Italian parsely or radish leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
Carrot leaf pesto
- Toast the pine nuts for a few minutes in a small frypan until golden, then set aside to cool.
- Roughly chop up the carrot leaves, then add to a bowl with the olive oil, garlic, grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts.
- Blitz briefly with a handheld blender, or in a food processer. I like to leave a bit of texture.
- Store in a clean glass jar in the fridge with a thin layer of olive oil on top. This helps to maintain the bright green colour.
- Preheat a grill to 200°C and line a tray with aluminium foil.
- Arrange the prepared vegetables on the tray in separate groups. This way, if one vegetable is cooked before the other, you can remove it easily (this will depend on whether or not your vegetables are similar in size).
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and add a little salt.
- Grill for about 5 minutes, shaking them halfway through.
- Serve immediately, while hot, or at room temperature, with the carrot leaf pesto on top.