It is precisely this time of year that I find myself in a pesto rut. It’s just that there are so many wonderful green things that exist in the world right now: basil, chives, spring onions, kale, arugula, spinach, nettles, and more. And my absolute favorite thing to do with spring greens is to make pesto. (Please see examples: A, B, and C)
But it’s easy to get into a pesto rut, to make the same pesto-ish dish over and over again. My typical pesto meal usually looks a little something like this: I boil some pasta. I toss pasta with fresh pesto. I eat said pesto pasta. If I’m feeling particularly creative, I’ll throw in some asparagus or sun dried tomatoes.
Don’t get me wrong, pesto pasta is delicious. It’s just not particularly exciting.
Last week, however, I had an inspired idea. I decided to roast some baby potatoes and afterwards, I tossed the warm potatoes with basil almond pesto, peas, mint, and chives. This dish, though somewhat humble and unassuming, was a breath of fresh air. It was exactly what I needed to get me out of my pesto rut. It was hearty and rustic, and a little bit unexpected.
Potatoes and pesto. Who knew it was a match made in heaven?
- 1 pound baby yellow or white potatoes
- 1/2 cup (shelled) peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup of pesto (Any pesto will do, just use your favorite pesto recipe!)
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 405 degrees F.
- Wash the potatoes and pat dry. Slice potatoes in half, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. (I like to ensure that some of the potatoes lay flat side up, and some flat side down, to ensure a varied level of textures and browned edges.)
- Roast the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender and starting to brown along the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- If using frozen peas, remove the peas from the freezer and run under warm water until they are thawed. Gently pat dry and set aside. If using fresh peas, steam the peas for 3-5 minutes or until they are tender, but not mushy.
- Place the roasted potatoes into a large bowl. Toss with pesto, peas, chives, and mint. Taste, and add salt & pepper if necessary. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the potatoes prior to serving. Serve warm (but the leftovers are delicious when eaten cold!).