Summer vegetables take on a deep, rich flavor when roasted with garlic and topped with delicious, oil-free white bean pesto.
I was out of town for a few days this week, visiting my family in steamy southeastern Louisiana, and when I got home, I had a bunch of vegetables I’d bought before I left that were in danger of going bad if not cooked quickly. (My husband, apparently, did not cook one vegetable while I was gone!)
I decided that the fastest way to use them all would be to roast them together. I like roasted vegetables, and they’re usually a regular part of our diet, but we rarely have them in the summer, when I hate to turn on the oven unless I absolutely have to. I decided to make an exception for this produce emergency.
My standard roasting vegetables are eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, squash, and potatoes, but I left the potatoes out this time because I’d be serving it over pasta. Since I was adding fresh fennel, I didn’t use rosemary or any of the other herbs I’d normally include because I didn’t want too many competing flavors.
The roasted vegetables themselves turned out to be very mildly flavored, the fennel mellowed to just a touch of anise-like flavor. The real punch in this dish comes from the pesto; be warned, if you use two cloves of garlic, you’ll be tasting garlic for a while afterward.
Thanks to a reader’s suggestion, served these roasted vegetables topped with white bean pesto with Tinkyada Brown Rice Spirals, a whole-grain, gluten-free alternative to whole wheat pasta. It was terrific! My husband said that if he hadn’t seen the package, he wouldn’t have known that it wasn’t regular pasta. I heartily recommend it.
More Oil-Free Vegan Pesto
If you thought eating whole foods plant based (WFPB) meant no more pesto, think again. In the summer I find so many ways to use the basil I grow in my garden. Here are a few of my favorite pesto recipes:
- Spaghetti Squash Pesto Lasagna
- Warm Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto Vinaigrette
- Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad
- Roasted Eggplant Pesto
- Pesto Primavera Pasta and Other Fresh Basil Recipes
Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and White Bean Pesto
- 3 medium summer squash (yellow or zucchini) halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 medium eggplant cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms larger ones halved
- 2 fennel bulbs halved and sliced (optional)
- 1/2 large yellow or red bell pepper sliced
- 1/2 large green bell pepper sliced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes diced
- salt optional
- 16 ounces uncooked whole grain pasta
- 1 16-ounce can great northern beans rinsed well and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- salt to taste optional
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large rectangular baking dish with parchment paper and add all the vegetables except the tomatoes to it. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and stir in the garlic. Put it in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, stir the vegetables and add the tomatoes. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all vegetables are done.
- While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the pasta according to package directions and make the White Bean Pesto:
- With the food processor running, drop in the garlic and process until minced. Add the basil and chop coarsely. Add the remaining pesto ingredients and process until smooth. Add salt to taste, if desired.
- When the vegetables are done, add salt to taste. Serve the vegetables on top of the pasta, topped with a spoonful of pesto.
Nutritional info is approximate.