Roast Your Veggies In Pesto For A Huge Flavor Upgrade

Roasted egg plant with pesto
Roasted egg plant with pesto - Oksanakiian/Getty Images

Whether you're enjoying a homemade steak dinner or seared seitan chicken, roasted vegetables are a perfect side dish for almost any meal. Nutrient-dense and easy to make, roasting vegetables is as simple as organizing your favorite garden-plucked produce on a baking sheet, drizzling them with oil and seasonings, and roasting them until golden brown and delicately crispy. Because it's such a simple process, there's room to take a few extra steps to switch up your roasted vegetable game. Enter pesto.

Pesto is traditionally made with ingredients that work great with roast veggies on their own, and when combined as a velvety, rich, and herbaceous spread, you get the benefits of them all in one fell swoop. Typically made from fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan, adding pesto to a veggie roast bolsters its botanical taste while imbuing it with a layer of bright, savory richness accented by an aromatic nuttiness that's at once earthy and uplifting.

Select your favorite veggies and toss them in a bowl with oil and pesto until they're evenly coated before roasting -- any combination of vegetables works. Because the pesto introduces additional moisture to the veg, you'll need to roast them for up to 30 minutes so they're nice and crispy. Alternatively, you can soak the veggies in a pesto marinade for a few hours or overnight to infuse them with heaps of flavor.

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Pairing And Serving Pesto-Roasted Veggies

Pesto pasta with roasted broccoli
Pesto pasta with roasted broccoli - Dianna Paulk/Getty Images

Pesto-roasted vegetables are tasty and hearty enough to enjoy on their own. However, if you want to introduce them into a larger spread, there are many ways to serve and pair this aromatic veggie roast.

If ease is the name of your culinary game, tossing the roasted vegetables into a creamy pesto pasta is a low-effort dish that only requires you to boil and drain noodles before dressing them up with the same pesto you used to roast your favorite greens. Top the dish with your vegetables, mix it up, and enjoy!

Need some protein? Pesto-roasted vegetables can liven up the meaty machismo of filet mignon or a juicy baked chicken. To keep things light, a blackened or baked white fish will leave you satiated and energized as the oceanic flavors dance with the earthy, herb-forward bravado of the veggies.

Pesto-roasted veggies are tailor-made for grain bowls, giving them a burst of freshness punctuated by savory, rich accents that tie together the busy roster of ingredients. Between the grains, proteins, pesto-kissed veggies, and a creamy sauce, every full-bodied forkful is armed with synchronicity.

Don't limit yourself, either. Pesto-roasted vegetables can zhuzh up pizza, add depth to sandwiches, or take a top-of-the-morning omelet from good to gourmet -- the choice is yours.

The More Flavor, The Merrier

Roasted carrots with pesto
Roasted carrots with pesto - Anton Dobrea/Getty Images

Olive oil, pesto, and perhaps a pinch of salt are all you need to take your go-to veggie roast from ordinary to extraordinary. But if you're an adventurous, flavor-forward foodie who doesn't mind bending the rules, there are additional ingredients you can add to your pesto-roasted veggies to make them all the more bold, bright, and brilliant.

Although it might sound strange, drizzling the pesto-tinted vegetables with honey can help caramelize the veggies, imparting them with a decadent shade of sweetness complemented by the earthy richness of the roasted produce. If honey is too sweet, curb it and use a balsamic glaze for a sweet yet tangy twist that still caramelizes and marries well with pesto.

Pesto-roasted vegetables are savory, rich, and earthy. Notice something missing? If you guessed spice, the prize is a few selections to consider for bringing a touch of fire to the roasted spread. Red pepper flakes, chili crisp, or adding spicy peppers like jalapeños or serranos to the spread are easy ways to crank up the heat.

Top the pesto veggies off with a generous sprinkle of feta to give them an extra hit of richness underscored by a gentle tanginess -- perfect for Mediterranean dishes. Just don't forget a glass of wine on the side.

Regardless of how you dress it up and serve it, as long as you invite pesto into your veggie roast, your tastebuds (and dinner guests) will thank you.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.