Thursday, March 24, 2011

Roasted veg with Walnut & Rocket Pesto


Winter has come for a quick educational* before it's arrival in a month or so and with it come the visions of warm comforting food and snuggling up with a hot drink while watching TV or reading a good book. It brings to mind the Afrikaans saying "Maagies vol ogies toe" meaning when the tummy is full the eyes want to close. This is all well and good if you hadn't had a pig-out weekend like mine.

Hummus im Basar on Sunday night, Romanian Kebabs with wedges on Monday (forgive me, it was a public holiday and I had forgotten it was meant to be meat-free) and then all-you-can-eat sushi on Tuesday night. I was looking for something comforting and warm but still light and healthy.

I first thought about what I would consider "Light & Healthy" and vegetables came to mind. Then the "Warming" aspect and roasting sounded like a grand idea. Next it was about what to serve it with and cous cous just was naturally at the top of the list. Relaying my idea to my father (who was also a little fed up with the heavy eating) I came up with the last minute idea of adding a little bit of feta to the mix. Viola!

Popping into the shop I looked around for some nice roasting veggies and was about to head downstairs for some more veggie hunting (after picking up some Willie's Cocoa for next to nothing" when I saw it was almost FOUR. Why is this a problem? Well see, we are currently living with my parents and the domestic worker leaves at 16:00 but some one has to be home when she leaves. So off I rushed with what ever I had, which in the end proved to be plenty.

When it came to assembly I realised that as much as I enjoy the olive oil + rosemary combination on roast veg, I felt like something a little different. I recalled a jar of Walnut and Rocket pesto sitting in my fridge and from there a star was born.


What you need:
1 Packet carrot balls (or chop up some carrots)
4 or 5 baby peeled onions (the kind that are perfect for pickling)
4 small mixed sweet peppers, sliced into quarters
1 small brinjal, cut up in cubes, salted and rinsed
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, peeledA
1 jar pesto princess walnut and rocket pesto (or make your own if you can't get any)
1 packet vine ripened cherry tomatoes, on the vine
2 cups instant cous cous
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water
1 cup crumbled feta (we used a combination of black pepper feta and Fairview's no-brine feta)

What to do:
Preheat oven to 200°C. 
Throw all the vegetables, except the tomatoes into a baking dish. 
Coat with the pesto and pop into the oven.
Set a time for 20 minutes.
At 20 minutes take the veg out and give them a stir, pop in the tomatoes.
Roast for another 10-15 minutes then turn the oven off but leave the veggies inside.

In a large bowl pour the 2 cups of cous cous.
Sprinkle the salt over the top and then pour in the boiling water.
Cover with a tea towel.
After about 5 minutes use a fork to break up the cous cous.
Cover and leave until ready to serve.

Serve the vegetables on top of the cous cous and sprinkle some (or lots) of feta to finish.

The verdict? 3 out of 5 people said it hit the spot. Of the other 2 the one doesn't eat roast veg (she got roasted butternut and loved it) and the other is TheHusband who complained that it wasn't meat :)


*An educational is a fact-finding trip that companies make before using a service provider


Disclaimer: Pesto Princess did give me the pesto for free but I was under no obligation to write a favourable review.

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