I found this recipes back in 2011 in a Food and Wine magazine and was drawn to the Pine Nut Pesto. I love a good pesto and I love pine nuts… brilliant! I am not a huge fan of thyme but was willing to give it a chance. The pesto added such a unique richness to the vegetables I had no trouble overlooking the small amount of thyme. The recipe itself was overall pretty healthy and didn’t require much “cleaning up” but I did make a few tweaks.
1. Root vegetables- use your favorites! I don’t love parsnips or Brussel sprouts so I just left them out. You could add in other root vegetables like regular potatoes or turnips for some variation. I also chose to roast them instead of grilling them. I didn’t want to have to stand by a grill for 50 minutes!! Yikes!
2. Pesto recipe- I took out the 1 TBS of butter and replaced it with olive oil. This keeps it lactose free but for those who are dairy free they can use vegan parmesan cheese. If you have an aversion to thyme you can certainly leave it out or try another herb like rosemary. You could also try using other nuts like walnuts or cashews but if there is an allergy you can use sunflower seeds.
This is a great recipe to entertain with, it makes an wonderful side dish your guests will be talking about for weeks after your party. I always make too much so I decided to create a soup using the leftovers…hence my Harvest Bisque was born! I love using one meal to create another. Happy Cooking!
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- One 2 1/2-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 large shallots, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 6 thyme sprigs
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Toasted Pine Nuts or Pepitas seeds for garnish
- You will need 1- 2 boxes of chicken or vegetable stock depending on the amount of vegetable you have left .
- On 2 large baking sheets, toss the carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, shallots, thyme sprigs and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.
- Roast the vegetables in a 425° oven, stirring them occasionally.
- While the vegetables are roasting, in a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pine nuts and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until they are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped thyme and garlic and cook, stirring, until the pine nuts are browned and the garlic is golden, about 1 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a mini processor. Add the grated cheese and about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse to a chunky puree. Season the pine nut pesto with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl (don't forget to remove the Thyme sprigs) and toss with the pine nut pesto. Serve hot or warm. IF there is an allergy, leave the pine put pesto on the side.
- Place leftover vegetables in a soup pot.
- Add enough low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock to just barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 5-10 minutes until vegetables are very soft. Turn off heat.
- Use an immersion blender and puree.
- If too thick, add additional chicken or vegetable stock or coconut milk to get desired consistency.
- Season to taste. Serve hot with toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds.